Try Running Without Music
Running has two main benefits: it’s a great and effective form of exercise, and a way to get lost in nature and think for 45 minutes to an hour (or whatever length of your run) with little to no distraction.
Of course, a ready-made playlist will help you to cheer up as you run or help you keep up. But if you want to truly free your mind, suggests Martin Fritz Huber on Outside Online , try running without music.
Huber’s argument is that running outdoors is one of the few times people, especially urbanites, can immerse themselves in the natural world without screens, text messages, or notifications clouding your vision.
When you choose a running soundtrack ahead of time, you are trying to implicitly control your experience. And in many cases this is the point: for example, uplifting music to help you navigate those painful last miles. But as this example shows, much of our music is filled with preconceived mental associations; we already know how a certain song makes us feel. One of the great things about running is that it gives you the ability to get rid of it all, if only for an hour or so.
He calls it a “micro-adventure” for your brain: although you can run a 3-mile loop while blindfolded, you never know where your mind might be wandering.
It is also a way to make your jogging time exclusively for yourself and for your mental and physical well-being. Instead of listening to podcasts to learn while running, or playing music to speed up your run, you dive into running for the sake of running. Get full sightseeing along your itinerary, listening to what’s going on around you, letting your brain rest for a bit.
“I don’t think we always need to tick off some invisible checklist to improve our lives, especially when we engage in activities that are rewarding in themselves,” he writes. I will run towards this.