‘When I hit the age of 30 I decided to take up running. Why? The usual reasons – to get fit and look better. Sounds simple doesn’t it? And so off I ran in typical ‘Nikki’ fashion (a bit ‘all the gear and no idea’) – trying to run for far too long and far too fast, far too quickly. Needless to say, exhaustion rapidly kicked in and I became frustrated at my own perceived lack of ability. So I took some time out to do some research -books, articles, running magazines, you name it. And I started over. Long but slow runs, short quick runs, a little hill training, resting, eating the right foods, stretching. Very quickly I saw amazing results and suddenly felt like a ‘real’ runner. Eight years on and I’m still running. Not every day and sometimes not every week, but when I need to and when my body wants me to. What I have found is that I would happily swap the physical fitness for the endorphin kick and the feel-good factor, every time. When I run I sleep better, I am relaxed, I am stress-free, irritations and worries tend to fall away and I often come up with solutions to problems when I am running. It gives me valuable headspace. I feel at one with the world and myself. So, why am I sharing this with you? Simple. I’d like you to give it a try for yourself. Running is free, you can run anywhere, at a time that suits you, you can always ‘fit it in’. Running will relieve stress and anxiety, you will look and feel a million times better very quickly. What’s not to love? Someone once told me that anyone who makes the effort to pull on their trainers and go running a few times a week, no matter the time or distance, can call themselves a ‘real runner’. Why not give it a go?