I always knew that exercise was important, but for many years it was something I didn’t really enjoy. I tried going to the gym, tried going to group exercise classes, but I never enjoyed any type of exercise enough to do it regularly.
When I was at school, I didn’t enjoy physical education or sports; I just wasn’t good at them. Because of this I suppose I never really developed a close relationship with exercise.
That all changed when a roommate of mine asked me to go with a run with her. The first few times she asked, I politely declined. But after being asked three or four times, I finally said yes. I laced up my sneakers and we headed out the door, running around our neighborhood.
My roommate, being kind and considerate, didn’t force me to run too far or too fast. Instead, she let me set the pace and we stopped when I said I’d had enough. Because of this, and much to my surprise, I really enjoyed it.
Although I was out of breath and my heart was beating fast, I was never in any kind of pain or discomfort. In fact, we chatted as we ran which made the time fly by. In no time at all we’d run for about 15 minutes and I didn’t even realize it. My roomie called this type of running “comfortable pace” and that’s something I still do today. If you would like to start running I’ve published a complete guide for beginners here.
Because I was new to running, my roommate (now my coach!) said I should not run the following day but could run again the day after. Rest, she said, was as important as running.
By the time that day rolled around I was really excited! As before, we set of slow and didn’t go too far. In fact, I’m sure I could have run further if I pushed myself. But, again, we took it easy and when we finished I still had energy to spare.
These every-other-day runs soon become part of my weekly schedule, and while I continued to a little yoga and a few core exercises at home, running become my favorite type of exercise. Slowly but surely I got fitter and the runs got longer – and even a little quicker too.
What I loved (and still love) about this type of exercise is that I can go running anytime I like, and don’t have to wait for the gym to open. It’s helped tone and strengthen my legs, helps me to control my weight and, other than a pair of running shoes, it’s free to do.
Best of all, running gives me peace and time to meditate and relax away from phones, computers, and my job. I can literally feel the weight of stress falling off my shoulders as I run – it’s amazing.
I’ve never taken my running especially seriously, not having felt the urge to train for a marathon or anything like that, but I can’t imagine not doing it either. Maybe one day I’ll train for a marathon but, for now at least, I’m very happy being a fun runner. All I know is it’s very good for my physical and mental health and allows me to have the occasional after running sweet treat without guilt or weight gain!
I’m a big fan of walking and do my best to walk every day, but my favorite form of exercise is running. I try not to let a week go by without running at least twice – and preferably three or even four times. And if time is short, I’ll just do a quick 20-minutes dash around the block instead of a more leisurely, longer run.
For me, running is the perfect type of exercise. Just grab your running shoes (my favorites here) and head out the door; it’s the ultimate in workout convenience.
Learn a few easy tips to get you started in the best way. Running is simple but with some tips make it easier to start. Find my guide here.