Whether we're lacing up our sneakers to log miles on the treadmill or hitting the trail through the nearest woods, there's nothing quite like the feeling of wind in your hair and that rhythmic pounding under your feet.
We all run for different reasons. Some run to improve their bodies, while others run to improve their minds. There are those who are born to run -- like the Tarahumara, known for their endurance runs through the canyons of northern Mexico -- and then there are those of us who need an extra push to kick our legs into gear and hit the gym. We power through side stitches, blisters and tight hamstrings as the miles pass by, yet we keep on running.
So why do we push ourselves through the physical or mental pain that accompanies pounding the pavement? We asked our readers on Healthy Living's Facebook and Twitter pages why they lace up on a regular basis. In honor of National Running Day, here's what inspires runners to run.
"I run because the athlete in me wants [me] to challenge myself to work hard and be fit and healthy! Also to be a role model for my son." -@Jhershey11
"Wild mad joy and the urge to feel exhilarated!" -Jovvi Jo
"I sprint to have a strong heart and body!" -@ashleyhuttolson
"Running is my time to escape and relax." -@MartaNaw
"Hi, I am Tanya, and I am an endorphin addict ;)" -Tanya Steininger
"Stress!!!! It's the best way to get rid of it!!!" -@JeniaMarie
"[To be] doing something I thought I couldn't do." -Kristen Ridley
"[I run] for those who can't. Beat MS. Freedom. Love life." -@Stranger2Friend
"Love for living, family, friends and of course, FOOD!" -@csimgo
"It gives me energy to get more done." -Elena Berzins
"Running makes me a better person physically, mentally and emotionally." -Jenn Straetz
"[It's] my personal moment to feel my heart, my soul and the real life!" -@lucianovila
"The rush of breaking personal records and pushing myself!" -@TaylorWolframRD
"The ability to push beyond previous limits; love running!" -@RicoFonz
"Because the greatest warriors in history were all strong runners." -Untapped: Physical Culture
"The way it resets and refuels me, mentally and physically." -@GaryDunne
"It feels so good when I stop." -@langernutrition
"Staying fit to live long for my autistic son." -@MaKehler
"[I run for] my future. I want to be healthy as long as I can." -Betty Castillo
What inspires you to run? Share in the comments below!