Five Reasons Running is My Preferred Exercise

In the triumphant return of Five-Things-Wednesday after a tw0-week hiatus I discuss the reasons I prefer running to other forms of contrived exercise.  Make no mistake, I’d rather not exercise at all, but I recognize that as a white-collar kinda guy I’m not going to reach my fitness goals without some form of contrived exercise.  And running is that exercise for the following reasons:

1.)  I actually go somewhere.  I can’t stand stationary bikes, stair climbers, elliptical machines (what the hell does that even mean?), etc.  Because they make you work and sweat … and you stay in one place.  They are, by definition, stationary.  Which makes them the epitome of contrived exercise in my opinion.  Running is still contrived (I’m not actually running from or to anything, after all), but at least I put some distance behind me.   This is, by the way, one of the biggest reasons I don’t like NASCAR – the idea of driving a car 500 miles and never leaving Daytona is mind-boggling to me.

2.)  I get to be part of the world around me.  It’s easy to take for granted, but the pace of running (especially my particularly slow pace) is ideal for actually seeing the stuff in my neighborhood without standing and ogling.  Soon I’ll know where all the dead birds, illicit garbage piles and hidden fences on Glen Springs Road are.  If I were doing anything in the gym I wouldn’t see anything but bad TV and a lot of people in infinitely better condition than me.  If I were biking I’d have to pay attention to other, bigger vehicles.  If I were swimming I’d be way too focused on not drowning to even see the sides of the pool.

3.)  It’s cheap.  And so am I.  Running (and yes, walking) is the least expensive exercise I know of.  Invest in a good pair of shoes and you’re in bidness.  Sure, there are gadgets and accessories you can add, but all you need is the shoes.

4.)  It’s portable.  Referring back to number three above, all you need is the shoes.  Which are a lot easier to pack than a bike or golf clubs.  When I used to run regularly I brought my shoes on business travel and as a consequence (referring back to number two above) I got see some really cool things in Denver, Austin and Fargo, just to name a few.  No, really, Fargo was interesting.  Stop laughing.

5.)  It’s removes the desire to sing along with Mick Jagger.   When I’m walking I find myself singing along, playing a little air-guitar, pumping my fists, etc., as I listen to my exercise playlist.  Which looks really stupid.  That’s not a problem when I’m running, because all my attention is focused on silly things like breathing.  And yes, I know that to exercise safely I should be able to carry on a conversation comfortably while I run, to which I respond, “Not with these lungs.”  At my most fit that wasn’t possible.  It’s darn sure not possible right now.

I noticed when I posted this that this is my 52nd post on Skipping Dessert.  Which means that post number 50, a nice, round milestone kind of number, was my running shoes haiku.  Which sort of opens the door to the exercise portion of my weight-loss path.  Interesting how things happen that way.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brenda on August 10, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Love your blog Harvey, it’s so “you”. I’m hoping one day I’ll get some inspiration…somehow letting my dog walk me once in a blue moon isn’t cutting it.


  2. Posted by Linda on August 10, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Love it. I’m doing the Couck to 5K. I’m in week 5. I never thought I could run. I prove myself wrong week by week!!!


  3. Did I give you a Garmin at one point?


    • Posted by hlward on August 10, 2011 at 11:29 am

      Yes, you did. I performed admirably for many years but now can’t seem to hold a battery charge or find a satellite. But it was really cool …


  4. Posted by laurel on August 15, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    This post just shows how you really do have to find something that works for *you* — right now, my only motivation to get to the gym is the 3-4pm block of “Friends” on TBS. I ellipt away to nowhere, happily, but I can think of around 47 reasons I don’t like to run! 🙂 I love the haiku, btw!


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