12 Reasons to love running even when you hate exercise

I hate exercise. You probably all know this by now, if you’ve been reading this blog on any kind of regular basis. 

(And no, it’s not that I “just haven’t found the right thing!” It’s that I’m lazy. I mean, let’s not kid ourselves here.)

Although I’m trying to go easy on the new year’s resolutions, however, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s starting the new year with the thought that they should probably get off their ass once in a while and actually, you know, DO SOMETHING. Anything, really. (And no, walking to and from the fridge doesn’t count, unfortunately, so matter how many times you do it…) For me, that thing is running.

I’ve been running for around five years now: not CONSTANTLY, obviously. I mean, that would be SUPER weird, and would probably set some kind of record. I’ve not even been running consistently either, if we’re being honest: it’s not like I have a set routine and I never miss a workout or anything like that, and I’ll be the first to admit that there are times when my running shoes don’t leave the closet for days on end. Many, many days on end, actually.

Still, despite all of this, running remains my punishment exercise of choice. I’ve tried all kinds of different workouts, and running is the only one I’ve ever managed to stick to – and the only one I’ve ever come close to “enjoying”. (I have to put that word in inverted commas because I’ve never actually found myself saying, “God, I really fancy a nice long run right now!” Haha! AS IF, people.) Here are some reasons why…

12 reasons to love running, even when you hate exercise

The faster you run, the quicker you’re done.

The less time I can spend exercising, the better: I have a few different routes I use for running, and the faster I can do those loops, the quicker I can get back to sitting on my ass, drinking coffee and feeling smug about having done my workout for the day. And, of course, the faster I run, the better the workout I’m getting, so it’s a win-win, basically. (This is the only time you will ever see me use the word “win” in relation to my running. I might have been doing it for a while, but I’ve cunningly managed to avoid getting good at it. Which is a talent all on its own, really.)

It’s the only time no one can ask you to do something, which makes it the closest some of us get to ‘me’ time.

You know what it’s like: you sit down to read a book, or have a nice bubble bath, and the next thing you know, the kids need you to help with their homework, or find their football kit or whatever, and your precious “me” time immediately becomes “them” time. YOU know what that’s like, I mean. I don’t. Because I don’t have kids. There’s always SOMETHING that needs to be done, though, isn’t there? Always an email to be answered, a chore to be taken care of, a nagging feeling of guilt that makes it impossible to ever to do something for yourself, without feeling like you should be doing something else. Except when you’re running. When you go for a run, no one can ask you to do anything AT ALL: it’s worth it for that reason alone.

In the woods, no one hears you sing Taylor Swift songs at the top of your lungs.

Because sometimes you just need to shake it off, don’t you?

Cute running clothes. Well, you can’t run naked, can you?

Not unless you’re an exhibitionist, obviously. And… don’t be exhibitionists, people. Pretty please?

Thinking time.

Some of my best ideas have come to me during a run. And some of my worst ones, too, actually.

Finding hidden gems in the countryside, and having them all to yourself.

One time, I found a ruined “mansion house” in the woods, and was really excited, thinking I would probably uncover a deep, dark secret lurking within its crumbling walls. You can imagine my disappointment when I got home and Terry told me it was an exhibit the local council had put up a few years earlier, and that it held no secrets whatsoever – dark or otherwise. You never know, though, so I’m still searching…

It’s the introvert’s ideal exercise.

People are always asking me why I don’t join a running club. The answer is that I don’t like people very much, and running is the ideal excuse to not have to talk to anyone. Er, that made me sound like a bit of a weirdo, didn’t it? I mean, I DO like SOME people. I like YOU, for instance: YOU’RE awesome. Just don’t ask me to go running with you, OK? Because, like Greta Garbo, I vant to be alone…

(And, of course, if you’re NOT a complete introvert, you can join all of those clubs I’ve been ignoring, and socialise to your heart’s content!)

You meet cute dogs out on their walks.

I don’t want to talk to people, but I ALWAYS want to talk to dogs. Also cats, sheep, cows, horses, and any other random animals I might encounter. They’re more on my wavelength, you know?

You can stop and buy cakes on the way home.

You shouldn’t, obviously. And I would NEVER, I swear. But you technically COULD, if you wanted to. And, of course, on a more sensible note, the more you exercise, the more you can eat. That’s the main reason I do it, actually.

Sneaking peeks into people’s windows while you run past them.

I tell myself I do this because it might help spark an idea for the novel I have absolutely no intention of ever writing. I really just do it because I’m nosey, though.

The sense of solidarity from other runners.

It’s fairly obvious by now that I’m not a people person. While I don’t want to run with other people, though, sometimes when I’m out, I’ll pass another runner (going in the opposite direction, obviously: I wouldn’t pass someone going the same way as me, because I can’t actually run that fast…), and we’ll exchange a little world-weary nod – a moment of solidarity in which it’s we two against the world. Or something like that. Once I was running along the beach in Florida, pretending to be doing a serious workout, and an entire group REAL runners high-fived me as they ran past. I felt like I was in a movie, or an inspirational Facebook image, at the very least. It was one of the greatest moments of my running career, and possibly my life.

Once you’ve started, you have to finish.

Sometimes I decide to do yoga at home, and then ten minutes later (OK, five.) (OK, two.) I’m rolling up my mat (which is really a towel, because as if I’d own a yoga mat…) and saying, “To hell with this: where’s the chocolate?” You can’t really do that with running, though, because once you’ve set out on a run, you have to get yourself home again, and you might as well run home, if only because it’ll make the torture end faster. Which brings me neatly back to point one.

And on that note, I’m off for a run. Haha, just kidding: I’m definitely going to go and THINK about running, though – that has to count for something, right?

  • I’m sort of the polar opposite, I love exercise but I hate running. But for certain reasons I’m going to be taking up running in place of my other activities for a bit. Think I’ll have to try and find more scenic routes through parks, although I don’t think I’ll be able find any ruins round where I live and if I did, I’d probably run away faster in pure fear! Belting out some Britney (I’m old school :P) when no one’s listening though definitely makes the prospect of running more attractive!

    January 6, 2016
  • The Other Emma


    Please tell me they are new runners and you’re not just really good at keeping things looking box fresh even when they’ve been worn! I would have them destroyed in minutes, I attract weird stains and I can guarantee that I will find and step in the only muddy puddle in 3 mile radius within seconds of stepping put side the front door.

    January 6, 2016
  • Loved this post! So true all of it. I’ve been a runner for around 7 years (wow, how did that happen?) and like yourself not consistently. Although I’m super proud of myself for completing a ‘run every day in December’ goal last month – yes I think I am crazy! I can actually say once I’m out there and doing it and it’s going good, no sore feet, no stitches I do really really enjoy it, but kicking myself out the door, ugh no! Thanks for this post. x

    January 6, 2016
  • One day I think I might do it – I might actually go for a run. For most of these reasons, but especially because no one will talk to me but I can talk to dogs. Sold.

    January 6, 2016
  • I’m with you! Running is the only type of exercise I can do. I’m far too scared to attempt group exercise, it just reminds me of being picked last in PE! Unfortunately I can’t quite get to grips with running outside yet, so I’m a boring treadmill bunny 🙁

    Chloe x

    January 6, 2016
  • I always used to hate sports but the key is definitely find something that you love, and preferable a sport where you can just drown out your pain with loud music 😉
    Lots of lovem

    January 6, 2016
  • Annabel


    Swimming, biking and running were always the only sports/physical activities I liked (and climbing trees, but sadly that doesn’t count). Then I developped ashtma and running had to be cut off, unless I feel like getting dizzy and almost dying. I should get back to either swimming or biking though- but most public pools where I live only have classes for people that don’t know how to swim or train swimmers and I don’t want any of those. I could start to bike again, but I’d actually have to leave my house. I do so many things outside of my house that when I’m done I just feel like staying in, honestly

    January 6, 2016
  • I would love to be able to run but my exercise of choice is swimming. It’s a brilliant non-weight bearing exercise that makes me feel like my body isn’t completely broken.

    January 6, 2016
  • These are all so true!! Love this post!

    xx, Elise

    January 6, 2016
  • You have breath left to sing when you run?!

    I did the Couch 2 5k programme a few years ago which got me started with running but I still hate it. The only benefit for me is that I can actually see progress as I move from one place to another and also because I don’t think of anything other than how much I hate running, it’s a good way to zone out a bit and forget about everything else.

    January 6, 2016
  • This post is great, Amber… I think I now understand why I enjoy running! I’ve never set foot in a gym, and besides horse riding haven’t done any form of sports club since primary school. Yet I genuinely enjoy getting out and running. I agree with all of these points, although now maybe I’m thinking I ought to run with some money and make sure to pass a cake shop perhaps on the way back…. I’m half marathon training, it’s definitely important to eat!
    Jennifer X
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

    January 7, 2016
  • Omg this is actually EXACTLY how I feel about running! It’s the least awful option but I wouldn’t say I actually enjoy it.

    January 8, 2016
  • I like exercise but have always hated running, but I am training for a marathon and I have discovered the more I run, the more I like it. The thinking time is great and it gives you such a great sense of achievement when you have completed the run. You may run in the wood and sing Taylor Swift, I run on the road and the other day found myself singing Justin Bieber out loud. Whoops.

    January 8, 2016
  • I love exercising, but like a previous commenter, I hate running. These are great thoughts, and I can totally relate. I’ve tried FOR YEARS to make myself be a runner. I just can’t. I’m sure I will try and talk myself into again, though…

    January 12, 2016
  • Andrew


    Ditto to what Maria said: The more I run, the more I like it. If I have had a break from running (like due to being sick or something), then it will be a week or two of not enjoying running while I get back into it. That said, once I’m back to regular running, I’ll start itching to run if I’ve gone more than a day or two without a good run.

    Good for you and stay at it. Running will keep you young and healthy for many years to come.

    January 18, 2016