Chatting with a few friends today, a facetious comment was throw out about taking a dog for a run. The quite reply from one who shall remain nameless was, “Running is the Devil’s Exercise.”
To be frank, I’m inclined to agree.
We all know that exercise is critical to our health and running is often considered to be the quickest way to weight loss. Generally it is considered so by people who make assumptions without putting a lot of time into research.
There are many studies that show just how hard on your body running can be.
I’m not saying running is bad for you. But I’m not convinced it’s entirely good for everyone either. Especially not for people who aren’t taking care of their body properly as a whole, or for people who don’t have proper shoes to protect their joints, etc.
More than anything, I don’t think running is good for people who think it’s the “Devil’s Exercise.”
Here’s what I do think: (**please note that this is my opinion, which doesn’t necessarily make it fact. I am NOT a doctor and nothing I write should be taken as a prescription or drill sergeant’s order**)
The best exercise program is the one you’ll stick to.
Of course, there are caveats to that. But in general, if you have a system of exercise that you love – be it running, swimming, bike riding, boxing, cross fit, etc – than that is the program you should stick to.
I do believe that you will hit plateaus, and all good programs will incorporate change and a variety of movements, as well as a varied focus on cardio, strength training and mobility.
I don’t care for running at all. But a few years ago I committed to running a 10K for my 30th birthday. I had less than 3 months to train for it, but I did it. My own stubbornness ensured that the training process actually wasn’t that bad and I was over the moon proud of myself for completing it. That was nearly 3 years ago and since then I have hated every single moment of running I have done.
There’s no more big win to work towards and I am just a person who doesn’t like to run. It’s terribly boring.
So I don’t do it.
Instead, I hang out in my living room with Joel and Jericho and punch and kick and squat and scream my frustration at having to do bear crawls and monkey jumps in the Core de Force program from Beachbody. And I LOVE it. I feel powerful and sweaty and sexy and ready to take on the world. Plus, Jericho has great hair.
It’s WAY harder than running is, but I love it. And I do it consistently because I love it.
I have a lot of friends who find it nearly impossible to work out in their own living rooms. They thrive at a gym or in a bootcamp or hitting the road running/riding.
The moral of the story here is this: do what appeals to you. You do need to incorporate movement and exercise into your life, but in order for it to be sustainable, you need to find a program or system that you love. Or at the very least, love to hate.
Have you already found that elusive exercise passion? What gets your heart racing in all the right ways?