In November I posted about how not running/exercising for a week had a huge affect on my body. It threw my sleep, bathroom routine (TMI?) and appetite completely out of whack. Once I was home from traveling and was able to swim, I started to feel somewhat back to normal, but that also made me think about why I would rather be running than doing anything else. Now that winter (and this crazy polar vortex) has set in and I am confined to the treadmill for many of my runs, it seems like it would be natural to explore other workouts, but I still find that I would rather be running (even if it IS on the treadmill).
So, this is why I think running is better than swimming, biking, elliptical-ing (?) and any other type of exercise:
- The runner’s high beats every other “high”. Sure I get some endorphin-like feelings from swimming or riding a bike, but nothing tops that feeling I get after a good hard run or zoning out while time flies during easy miles.
- Running doesn’t make me constantly smell like chlorine.
- I can do it anywhere. When I can run, I don’t have to research where a public pool is located and how to get there or whether my hotel will have a gym. And I don’t have to worry about pool schedules or whether the gym is open. I put on my running shoes/clothes and just GO.
- Walter can join me when I go running. While I was injured (and now while I am running indoors more), Walter is bouncing off the walls because he isn’t getting any real exercise. For a dog that can run 7-miles without blinking an eye, a short walk around the neighborhood doesn’t really do much to put a dent in his energy levels.
- I don’t get bored when I run. When I am at the gym or in a pool, I tend to get bored and cut the workout shorter than I would otherwise. When I am running, I may not love every minute of it, but I generally never find that I am bored. (Treadmill running excluded).
- Running is training, not exercise. Of course I will never complain that one of the benefits of doing what I love is that it also happens to burn lots of calories and be good for my body. But that isn’t WHY I do it. When I was injured, I went to the pool to swim just to get exercise in the only way that I could without pain in my foot. That isn’t really sustainable motivation for me.
- Fresh air & Vitamin D. Sure the weather right now sucks. It’s cold and dark and all of that, but there is something to be said for getting outside in the fresh air for a run. It burns my lungs, wakes me up and makes me feel alive. Plus, at a time when I am not getting outside much otherwise, my runs would be the only time I would have any shot at some natural vitamin D.
The only upside I can see of swimming more is that there is zero laundry related to swimming! I shower in my suit right after I swim and then put it in the suit dryer and done.
I am sure many of you have other reasons why you think running is better than other workouts…so tell me about them! (Or tell me why I should give some other workouts a little more credit?!)