We all know that running makes you thinner, stronger, and all-around healthier, but the benefits of running even go beyond health. Here are 10 other reasons you may want to start running:

  1. Meet good-looking people. If you’re single, running is a great way to meet others. It’s no secret that running does a body good. In addition, the active, motivated mindset of runners usually correlates positively with intelligence and other desirable traits. (And remember: “Stamina on the track means stamina in the sack.”;)
  2. Create “Me” time. Although running with partners is usually great, individual runs can be a perfect to escape from the world. Running enables you to leave your cell phone, chores, and worries behind while you simply enjoy the fresh air of the great outdoors.
  3. Achieve goals. Running is often about setting a challenge for yourself and working consistently and earnestly to achieve it. Learning this behavior is very useful in the rest of life.
  4. Develop friends. Running with others is usually one of the best ways to train. When you spend several hours a week sweating with someone you tend to become good friends. You share stories, experience triumphs and defeats, and really get to know each other. Running with a spouse or loved one is also a great relationship builder.
  5. Become smarter. Modern research indicates that regular exercise leads to increased intelligence (see this book). The stamina built by running is very useful for tough mental tasks as well.
  6. Set a good example. Many of my friends have started running or walking because they’ve seen my weight loss and energy gain over the years. My 8-year-old daughter thinks that everyone exercises an hour a day because her Mom and Dad run. She even asks me to go on walks with her sometimes, providing both exercise and valuable time together.
  7. Destroy obstacles. Once you’ve been through a long race, such as a marathon, any of the other obstacles in your life just don’t look so difficult any more.
  8. Clear your mind. For many people, running provides a release. It gives you plenty of distraction-free time to organize your thoughts and come up with solutions. Regular exercisers find mild excursion tremendously refreshing, both physically and mentally.
  9. Build self-confidence. Getting in shape, knowing you’re healthy, and achieving goals all make you feel incredible. It doesn’t hurt either when other people tell you that you look fit.
  10. Someone is chasing you.