Reading time: 3 minute(s) - 500 words
This is one of the most basic questions I get asked. The answer is simple - until it isn’t.
Of all the ways to stay fit, running is a popular choice.
But then, so is going to the gym or riding a bike. Playing football or something else. So what marks running out as the best way to stay fit?
1. It’s easy to do
Note I didn’t say: it’s easy. That would be a lie - running is hard.
The thing is, it is easy to do. Pull on your shorts and trainers and head out the door.
There’s no special equipment needed. Nor do you have to go anywhere special.
2. It’s good for your mind AND your body
This one might be just me. It’s not, though. I’ve spoken with lots of runners who say the same. I find running helps my mental health too.
Even on days where I’m dubious about going for a run, once I’m out there it feels great.
And when you get home the sense of achievement is golden.
3. It’s not expensive
Like anything, you can make it expensive. Buying loads of fancy kit and devices.
But to get started your biggest investment will be a proper pair of trainers. Spend as much as you can afford on those.
But other than that, the rest of it doesn’t cost a fortune.
If you are going to buy a running watch, that won’t be cheap. I’d wait until you’ve read my upcoming post about running watches.
4. It’s freedom
Imagine the scene:
You are running along by the beach. It’s a lovely warm summers morning and the sun is rising over the sea.
The only sound (apart from the gentle lapping of waves) is the sound of your feet. You feel great, you feel alive…
There is no better way to be at one with the great outdoors. Or to feel a sense of freedom.
I mean, running around your home city in the lashing rain and cold wind is a different experience. I’ll admit that.
But you are still free - for that period of time you are running, that’s all that matters.
Your body’s systems working in unison and the road ahead.
5. It works
Running will make you fitter. It’ll create a desire for you to improve. And that in turn makes you work on your all-round fitness.
You’ll lose weight (if you need to) and feel stronger. Running works.
I’ve tried cycling. It does work but it takes longer.
I’ve tried hiking. I love walking the fells and coast paths of England. But to get the benefits that running delivers, you would need to be doing a lot of it.
I should add a caveat here. When people ask me why I run I usually say:
“Because it keeps me fit and I enjoy it. And it works for me.”
Because that’s the truth. It might not be for everyone. But you won’t know until you’ve tried…