Monday, January 3, 2011

Running is not exercise

Ok, first... really weird not starting a post with "Day XXX -". I did not run yesterday, nor today. I am still alive, but it is... again, weird.

Been stretching, and resting, and thinking about comes next. I'm open to suggestions.

Truth is, I missed writing more than running. But in another day or two, my body will go into running withdrawal and I will turn from the happy-go-lucky Doug to the snippy-grouchy Doug who needs a run. So we've got that to look forward to. It's an addiction I'm ok with.

With the idea that (hopefully) some of you above average looking readers out there have at least thought about picking up the running habit, I wanted to hammer home a point while I was thinking about it.

It's one that I've made before, but worth repeating.

Don't think of running as exercise. It is not a way to lose weight. Sure, you may lose weight once you start. Runners are the healthiest people out there.

But running simply to lose weight is, in a word, miserable. Your body needs to change, a lot, to go from a sedentary lifestyle to becoming a runner, and it takes a few weeks.

If you're anxious to lose weight, you're probably going to push it too hard, run too often, run too far, and it will suck. You will hurt. You will not like it.

If you want to lose weight, cut back your calories and hop on an exercise bike, or an elliptical, or hell, even a soul-sucking treadmill.

Running isn't about burning calories. It's about connecting with the primal need to run that is in all of us. As kids, we all ran, everywhere. Our parents had to tell us not to run.

It's also about living a more-or-less healthy lifestyle. Not because it's cool. Not to fit into a pair of jeans. Because it makes us feel good. And occasionally superior. It's good for out hearts, our minds, and our souls.

The path to becoming a runner doesn't have to be hard, and it shouldn't hurt. But it's a long path, that starts here and hopefully ends way out there at 85 or 90 years old. So be patient. Don't judge your progress by how much you weigh, or how far you went, but on how you feel.

If you do it right, you'll feel great. And that's something worth getting addicted to.

Good running,
Doug

P.S. Out of habit, typed "Numbers: ", then realized that the number would have been "0.0", so backspaced. Again, a little weird, but we'll get used to it.