Ok, nothing against all the runners out there, but it just isn’t my thing. I don’t enjoy it. And that’s it, that’s the reason I don’t run.But in all honesty, I’ve tried running many, many times. I was a student athlete in high school, so sprints, short runs, and running stairs were a regular occurrence for me. I know it’s a wonderful cardio and full-body workout, but running just isn’t for me. In addition to not enjoying running, it physically hurts me. I don’t just mean my knees or my tired leg muscles, but it tends to cause flare ups of my Interstitial Cystitis. And let’s face it, no one wants pelvic pain and the constant urge to pee when they’re working out. Or ever, really ever, really.
Have you ever stopped and thought about why you work out? Or about if you enjoy your workouts? Do you often find yourself dreading exercise? Have you ever thought about why you’re dreading your workouts? We often feel as though we HAVE to work out. We HAVE to run to get skinny or lose weight. It’s just what people do, right? Well, who says you have to?
First, being “skinny” doesn’t have to be your goal. While burning fat can be a great side effect of healthy diet and exercise, it isn’t my main focus. What I do focus on is being healthy, happy, confident, and balanced. The rest will come. I make a point to workout in some way, shape, or form at least four times a week, but I never run. If I want a good, quick cardio workout, I tend to stick to the elliptical or the bike. While it may seem like they are “easier” workouts but for me, they are wonderful ways to get my heart rate up and sweat, with less impact on my joints and sensitive bladder.
Another great full-body workout that effectively increases your heart rate is the rowing machine. Honestly, rowing is one of my favorite workouts because you get cardio and strength training benefits all in one smooth motion. If I have more time, and it’s a nice day, hiking is probably my favorite form of exercise. Not only do you get a killer leg and cardio workout (especially if you’re climbing), but there is no better therapy than enjoying beautiful scenery with your dog (or friends, or on your own).
Run or Don’t: Do What is Best for You
What I’m trying to say with all of this is to find a workout that works for you. It’s not all about burning calories and fat. It’s about listening to your body and appreciating what it can do. If running makes you feel miserable and you dread it every time, maybe find another cardio workout. If it brings you happiness and your body loves it, by all means, run your heart out. It’s okay for you to pick the workouts you WANT to do, not just what other people make you believe you should do. Always remember, workouts are a celebration of what our bodies are capable of, not a punishment for what we eat or didn’t do.