A friend of mine recently posted an article on facebook by HelloGiggles.com titled, “10 Reasons Running Doesn’t Suck As Much As You Think“. Upon reading it I immediately knew a counterpoint must be written. Read on. Only about half of these are rebuttals though due to the fact that several points were not about the benefits specific to jogging, but to exercising in general. And ANY type of exercise is better than none. No debate there.
Here are 10 reasons:
1. There aren’t THAT many hot people running.
The article states that runs are “full of hot bodies in very little clothing”. Pffffft. First, that shouldn’t be your motivation. Second, people are hotter elsewhere (i.e. yoga – hot bodies in sweaty rooms bending in crazy positions right in front of you). And third, even if they are hot they are likely to be running AWAY from you. Lastly, you runners in Minnesota, how many “hot” runners did you see running yesterday (January 26th)?
2. Running is not physically safe, part I.
Running is high-impact activity that is wearing down your joints and ligaments. You don’t get that cartilage back that you lose when you jog. Though if you don’t otherwise use your knees and ankles in your daily life this isn’t an issue.
3. Running is not physically safe, part II.
Not to mention physical safety! Depending WHERE you run you may encounter uneven terrain, speeding cars, killer lions/bears/etc, right-wing militia members, invisible fences, and/or cast members of Jersey Shore just to name a few.
4. Running is simply not very effective.
The article states, “You can lose weight by drinking nothing but hot water with lemon. Or you can run for an hour, treat yourself to a cookie and still fit into your skinny jeans.” BZZZZZ! Wrong answer! Running is aerobic, which is the lowest level of working out. Other workouts, like CrossFit for example, are anaerobic. This more intense exercise is where you’ll see muscle gain, fat loss, and better general overall fitness. Aerobic exercise is just like driving your car around to burn off its fuel. You’ll just need to re-fuel your body.
5. Other exercises are WAY more effective.
You can run for an hour and not burn as many calories as you would in ONE CrossFit WOD. Also, you’re missing out on building muscle strength which continues your workout even after you’ve stopped working out. In fact, if you’re trying to lose weight you’re body will just learn to store more fat to fuel your runs. But with workout programs that include weightlifting, you’re building muscle which will in turn improve your metabolism in addition to making you stronger. So each workout is even more effective than the next. Even Yoga will burn more calories plus keep your body more balanced and strengthened than running.
6. Running isn’t the only way to get cardiovascular exercise.
In fact, it’s not even that good at that. True, you’re heart rate is sustained at a higher level than when at rest. But no higher than with other sports. Additionally, it’s not a sustained heart rate that improves cardiovascular health. It does not prepare it for heart rate changes that happen rapidly, nor does it do the same for blood pressure the way cyclic exercise does. High intensity interval training allows for bursts of energy followed by a recovery period. This is a much better program for strengthening the heart muscle and needless to say, for weight loss as well.
7. Running is just plain boring.
Ok, granted, this one is highly objective. But going jogging is boring. You need to spend SOOOO much time running to get any benefit. Grooooaaaaan! Work me out hard for 15 minutes and give me the rest of the time to watch a movie, play tennis, go to dinner, read, takeover a small country, pry off my eyelids with a butter-knife, BASICALLY anything but run.
8. Using running as a stress reducer is wimpy.
The article reads, “When your boss, your melodramatic friend and your nagging to-do list won’t leave you alone, calmly put on your running shoes and head out the door.” That’s literally running away from your problems. You want stress reduction? Try beating up a punching bag or crushing a little fuzzy yellow ball cross-court. Bam! Now THAT is a satisfying stress-reducer.
9. Lululemon clothing
Ok, good point. Lululemon makes awesome running clothing. The thing is, their clothing is also awesome for tennis, yoga, CrossFit, and more. Running does not have a monopoly here.
10. Most importantly – and fundamentally – running is probably not leading to how you actually want to look.
This is the real crux of the issue isn’t it? Yes, you exercise for health and other reasons, but you probably want to look better too. Everyone does. So now for the bad news for runners: running doesn’t make you look good. In fact, quite the opposite. Take the best-in-class athletes in other sports, which ones do you want to end up looking like? These are people who train specific for that sport and end up built for that activity. In the photos below, which one(s) are closest to the way you would like to look?