Not Everyone Should Run!

At least once a week I get comments from clients regarding running or jogging. Now, I freely admit I have never been a fan of running myself. But, that doesn’t mean I discourage clients from running. If running is something you really enjoy and it does not cause you pain or discomfort then go for it.

But, what concerns me the most is the thought a lot of people have that you have to run to lose weight. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. And, for some people it could even do more harm than good.

First and foremost, you have to ask yourself – “Do I really enjoy this activity”. If the answer is no, then for goodness sakes stop! Why force yourself to do something you don’t enjoy when there are so many alternatives. Some alternatives to running or jogging could be: swimming, interval training either outdoors or at a gym, power walking, nordic walking, hiking. Take up a game such as tennis, badminton. Join a fun sports league – volleyball, basketball. There are literally hundreds of options to replace an activity that is not enjoyable. Remember if you don’t enjoy it, chances are you won’t continue for very long.

One great way of getting in some intervals outdoors and not running is hill walking. Find some hills close to home or drive and find some hills to walk. Make sure you do a good 5-10 minute warm up walk. You want to raise your body’s core temperature and prepare the muscles for workload. You should break a slight sweat. Once warmed up, perform intervals by power walking fast up the hill. Turn around and walk down, but monitor your pace on the way down. You don’t want to be jogging. Remember the down portion puts a lot more stress on your knees that walking up. You should perform 6-8 of these hill power walks (or intervals). Make sure you do a 5 minute cool down and stretches.

If you do want to run or jog then you need to ask yourself if you are prepared or ready for this activity.

If you are new to running or jogging, then make sure you start gradually. Most running stores will have an introduction to running clinic or even a suggested program to follow. Start slow with walk/jog program. Make sure you warm up and all stretches are done at the end. Most importantly listen to your body! If you have discomfort or pain either during the exercise or after, consult a fitness professional. You should not have pain – period!

So, what should you take away from this post? Simple – not everyone should run. You don’t have to run/jog to lose weight – there are alternatives. Pick something you enjoy – chances are you will stay with it. No pain; no gain is outdated and should not be a credo to follow. Pain means something is wrong – stop and consult.

Till next time,
“Monitoring, Mentoring, Motivation”

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    2 Responses to “Not Everyone Should Run!”

    Rick Kaselj of Exercises for Injuries


    Great post.

    I like the suggest that you need to like what you do.

    Rick Kaselj



    Rick – thank you very much for your comment. It is so true; you must enjoy what you are doing. Otherwise, not much point as chances are you won’t stick with it for very long.


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