… 0r a walk, this applies to both.
In order of importance:
- Because you can. You have two legs and springy Achilles tendons for a reason: humans are built for running. If you don’t believe me, go read Born to Run by Christopher MacDougall. Seriously, a fully functional cardiovascular/respiratory/skeletal system is a friggin’ miracle and you should get off your ass and go celebrate that ASAP. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, why are you reading this post? BTW, we are not built for triathlons, or our genitals wouldn’t be where they are and we’d have webbed feet and hands. Just saying.
- Because it gets you outdoors. Notice that my title says “go out and run.” Treadmills are for hamsters. Scared of a little rain? Heat? Lightning? Dark? Come on. It’s not that bad. Too many people live indoor lives — bed-table-car-desk-car-table-couch-bed. Get out there and breathe some real oxygen. Run on a trail or in a park if you can. Connecting with nature is scientifically proven to be good for your mental health. If you have to stay inside, then by all means do yoga.
- Because it gets things moving. By this I mean your digestive system. And nothing is better than a well-oiled digestive system, amirite? For this reason you should always scout out toilets and well-concealed bushes on your route. Put a wad of TP in your pocket for emergencies. (Just remember to take it out before you wash them.) There’s nothing quite like the feeling after you’ve relieved yourself mid-run. Okay, TMI.
- Because it’s good for creativity. Stuck on a particularly nasty partial differential equation? Can’t find the solution to the twin prime conjecture? Suffering from writer’s block? If you go out for a run and just forget about it, chances are you’ll have a flash of inspiration somewhere around mile three. (Works best if you don’t also listen to music). This is also why running is good for stress relief. Like meditation, it gives you a break from your monkey brain.
- Because it makes you feel good. When you engage in high-intensity aerobic exercise your body produces its very own mind-altering substances: endocannibinoids and endorphins. This is a healthier high than the plant variety and won’t cost you a penny. Unfortunately this doesn’t happen walking, but that’s okay because walking makes you feel good in a different way. It’s more zen.
Honorable mention: Because you’ll sleep better. Why is sleep important? Read this.
Notice that I did not mention weight loss and/or an amazing body. This might pan out for you, and it might not. If what you really care about in life are six-pack abs and a single-digit body fat percentage, you’re probably better off doing HIIT and getting super obsessive about your diet. Good luck having fun with that.
Life is short. Get out and run while you can. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, I’m really sorry. Why did you read this whole post again? Maybe you could become a wheelchair athlete. They’re amazing.