Exercise is a key ingredient in weight loss and maintenance. Running especially comes with a host of health benefits: It can give you more energy, boost your metabolism, improve your mood, and help release stress, Erica Stepteau, a health coach at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, told Fox News.
But strenuous exercise like running can seem daunting, and we often like to tell ourselves certain very convincing reasons why we should skip the cardio for the day. Fox News asked Stepteau about some of these common excuses about running, and how to get over them:
1. Running is too hard.
Running can be difficult, given that it uses every muscle group in your body, Stepteau said. However, there are ways to start gradually: Try one of the online couch to 5k programs, she suggested.
2. Running is lonely.
Another common excuse Stepteau hears is running is too lonely or boring. But try to reconfigure your thinking around running: Look at it as your therapy and alone time, Stepteau said.
3. The weather is bad.
If it’s rainy or slushy, your desire to run may take a nosedive. But even if you aren’t usually a fan of treadmills, you can still use them to recreate an outdoor running experience, Stepteau said. Try changing the incline on the treadmill, and listening to noises — like chirping birds — to remind you of outside.
4. I don’t have a runner’s body.
Some people believe that if they don’t have the idealized athletic, slim, and fit runner’s body, they shouldn’t get started. But be gracious with yourself, said Stepteau, noting that “aesthetics come into play later on but shouldn’t stop you from getting started.”
5. My knees will start hurting.
Running is definitely high impact on the knees, but you can go to a running specialty store to get fitted for proper shoes, which should help minimize the impact, Stepteau said.
6. I should have started when I was younger.
While many people wish they had gotten started on their running goals earlier, there are still huge benefits of getting started mid-age, Stepteau said. She noted that you can still reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes just by moving an hour a day.
7. I’ve been inactive for too long.
Even if you feel like you’re out of practice, increase your activities gradually, Stepteau said. Soon, you’ll start building your endurance