Running on your own, is like having sex on your own, it’s not quite the same is it?


OK, to some people, I’m one of those annoying fitness enthusiasts, and I turned up at the a ‘Lead Well’ leadership, health and wellbeing course run by the company I work with, Yellow Brick Road, thinking I’d give myself top marks for exercise and nutrition, but I didn’t. My reflection was that actually I’m quite lonely when I exercise.


Reflecting on the important things in life in a group like this gave me this ‘aha’ moment.


We are all unique and for me, Mark Burns, exercise is a sanity pill. If ever you had to defeat me in combat like in an ‘SAS are you tough enough’ programme, it’s easy, just make me sit still for 24 hours and I’d turn into a quivering wreck. So my main motivation is to keep my mental health in check.


For those of you who also suffer from anxiety, I would highly recommend exercise because it gives you an immediate release from those horrible anxiety feelings. It burns up the adrenalin sitting around unused and releases endorphins.


At times, when I competed in a Triathlon that feeling can turn into euphoria akin to the feelings you get with sex, but that’s rare. So next time you see athletes tearing down the road in a triathlon smiling, you’ll know why.


Most of the time it just brings about a feeling of wellbeing, positivity and relaxation.


My tip is to make a diary, write down and score how you feel out of 10 immediately before exercise, then do the same half an hour after exercise. Do this a few times and I think you will make the connection.


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However, I can’t assume that works for everyone, because there are a number of reasons people want to exercise.


In hearing the stories of others I realised the other thing I really want in life is friendship. Golf, which is a frustrating, expensive and addictive game, has made me recognise I miss the company of my friends. So it’s something I need to address. If I can increasingly combine friendship and exercise then happy days! Though there’s nothing wrong with going out on your own for a mind clearing run every now and then.


So how can I change, well these are my thoughts. Make the effort to combine exercise with networking. Running meetings, walking meetings, going for a coffee after a parkrun. Also, commit to an event then find some training partners. These things may work for me, but not for everyone.


For others I think you need to take some time to reflect and discuss it with others on a course like Yellow Brick Road’s ‘Lead Well’. Think about your motivation for exercise, then think about the context of your life, or the root cause of what is stopping you from changing. Then commit to a plan and with the support of your fellow delegates and Yellow Brick Road, change your habits and find a better you.


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Written by Mark Burns, Chief Scarecrow at Yellow Brick Road