If you’re a Facebook fan, you’ll more than likely be aware of the huge and ever growing popularity of running. Amateur and advanced runners alike regularly use apps such as Strava to track their progress and share their routes and running times with their social media buddies.

But why has running become such a popular pastime over the last few years? Here are six reasons why running is a great activity to take up as a new mum…

  1. You can do it with friends

The gym can be a lonely place if you want to work out. Even if you go along with a buddy, chances are you’ll find separate treadmills and do your own thing for most of your session. But running is a great way to bond with new and old friends alike.

Joining a local running club is a great way to meet new friends, and many of them offer “couch to 5k” style starter sessions for newbies, focused on improving stamina and getting you used to running further and further every time.

You’ll soon make friends and bond with your team, and running clubs are well known for team spirit and inspiration.  Grab your trainers and get started!

2. You can always improve

Running is a fantastic activity for those with a competitive spirit, as you can always run further every time, or try to beat your PB for a specified distance. You’ll be able to set goals and stay accountable, and you’ll no doubt get better and better every week which will boost your confidence levels and make you want to do more more more!

3. You can take the kids!

Not all running terrain is suitable for buggies and little ones, but if you need to take the tinies with you, check out your local Parkrun! Set up 14 years ago by founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt, the free park 5k running sessions on Saturday mornings are loved by an incredible five million people.

According to recent figures, the average running time for the 5k routes are now seven minutes slower than in 2004, indicating that Parkrun is now enjoyed by mums with buggies, families and children as well as serious running enthusiasts.

So strap the kids in the buggy or kit them out with their own trainers, and head down to your local park on a Saturday!

4. It has a huge impact upon fitness levels

According to a recent feature by Women’s Running magazine*, there are huge health benefits to this type of regular aerobic exercise, including improved bone density, reduced risks of heart disease, strengthened respiratory muscles and improved lung capacity, and even a reduced risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Running is also a great calorie burner, meaning that you will be able to treat yourself to that delicious cake at the coffee shop without feeling guilty. What’s not to love!?

5. It helps with your mental health and wellbeing

Going for a run in the fresh air will clear your head, get you away from your screen and the humdrum of daily life, and allow you a break from the stresses and strains.  The NHS website states clearly that there is an evidential link between physical activity and good mental wellbeing, and running has to be up there with one of the most soul affirming activities to take up.

6. You can do it anywhere!

Apart from a good pair of trainers (and a super supportive sports bra!), running doesn’t require any fancy equipment and you can do it anywhere, at any time.  It’s a great activity to squeeze in around your mum duties and work, and you can even do it on holiday, on work trips, weekends away and evenings.  Once you start, you’ll be hooked!

For more information on Parkrun, check out http://www.parkrun.org.uk Ehttps://womensrunninguk.co.uk/home-page-feature/the-health-benefits-of-running/