It’s fall in Minnesota and even though the environment is telling you to slow down, we’re here to tell you the reasons why you should stay active. For the next few weeks, we’re sharing 4 reasons why you should try specific workout routines. This week, it’s running!

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For spectators watching thousands of runners along Summit Avenue during next Sunday’s Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, 26.2 miles might seem like an impossibly long distance. But as any marathoner will tell you, it seemed pretty impossible to them, too, until they started pounding the pavement and setting goals.

And as far as exercise goes, there are a whole lot of reasons to lace up for a jog. Here are just a few:

Running/Jogging

It’s Free

One of the biggest deterrents to picking up a new hobby is all the gear you’ll have to buy to try it out. Mountain biking, rock climbing, and even yoga require some sort of significant investment to get started. Even strength training requires some exercise equipment or a gym membership. But running is one of the few forms of exercise that requires no field, court or gear (besides a decent pair of running shoes) to get started. You have everything you need right now!

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

It’s Simple

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Lots of other forms of exercise require some serious technical skills or training to get started, but everyone already knows how to run. You know, that thing you learned how to do after walking? Sure, tons of runners like to get really technical about it (heel strike or toe strike?), but the basic concept is always there: just one foot in front of the other.

(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

It’s Challenging

Running is a great way to improve your self esteem. Just make it through that first run and set clear goals. All the numbers involved make it easy: How far will you go? How fast? The best part: you don’t have to compare yourself to anyone else. Can you only run half a mile? Next time, try three quarters of a mile, then a full mile. Plus, there are tons of gadgets and smartphone apps that make tracking your goals easy. Just keep pushing yourself, and you’ll be shocked at what you’re capable of.

Running

(credit: Thinkstock)

It’s Always Available

Whether it’s early in the morning, late at night, or on a holiday when everything is closed, there’s nothing stopping you from taking a jog outside. Sure, it’s probably not a great idea to go on a late-night run by yourself through a dark or dangerous area, but barely any planning is needed otherwise. Even in the bone-chilling cold of a Minnesota winter, there’s plenty of gear and resources that can be helpful for cold-weather running. On a trip or vacation somewhere? It’s the perfect way to check out a new area!

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With such an easy, available, fun way to exercise, there’s no excuse not to give it a try. So get out there and run!