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No, You Don't Have to Run and Here's Why

By Genevieve Cunningham

If you love to run, you’re among a very special group of people. While there are plenty of people who like to get in a good jog from time to time, there are plenty of others who despise the very thought of running. And while this makes many people feel a bit guilty (running is how you get in shape, right?), the truth is that running isn’t actually necessary to get in good shape. If that is music to your ears, read on to find out why running isn’t the answer in every situation.

Other Cardio Works, Too

Running is just cardio. It works all of the muscles in the body, gets your heart rate up, and helps burn calories and fat. But the good news is that it’s not the only form of cardio to do this. In the grand scheme of things, cardio is cardio. As long as you’re getting some cardio in your regular exercise sessions, that’s all that really matters. So what else can you do? Try cycling, dancing, or kickboxing. Try an aerobics class or check out Zumba. Don’t force yourself to run if you hate it. Choose a form of cardio that you enjoy and you’re much more likely to stick with it.

Running Can Be Hard on the Body

If you still feel like you should be running, keep in mind that running is actually really hard on the body. We literally pound our feet on the pavement when we run. For many, this actually leads to pain in the feet, knees, hips, and lower back. And it can be really hard to get rid of the pain caused by running. While this doesn’t happen to everyone, you should definitely be aware of the possibility. And if pain is popping up during or just after your run, it might be a good idea to take a break anyway.

Exercise Should Be Varied

If you want your workout to really work, it’s a good idea to vary your workout from time to time. And this means that constant running probably isn’t a good idea anyway. If you want to incorporate an occasional run, awesome. But it’s also OK to include multiple other kinds of exercise. This keeps the muscles working and challenged, and it makes your workout more interesting, too.

Running can be a great way to lose weight and get in shape. But it's not the only way. If you don't like to run, just choose another workout program. As long as you stay moving, you can improve your health and body without any running at all.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in West Covina, Calif.

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