Running. Is it right for you? Is it hard? Do you get that “perfect body” from it? Is it over rated? These are all questions I have asked myself! I started running a little in high school and had a love hate relationship with it! I would run in between swim seasons. It was by far NOT my favorite thing to do!

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We all have reasons why we start exercising or running to be specific. Maybe it is to get in shape, or lose weight or just wear all the fun workout clothing! 🙂 Maybe you start it because your friends encouraged you! Or you just needed a new challenge. Whatever the reason is, it means something to you.

I started running because I had stopped being a competitive swimmer to focus more on my degree. In college I lived in a house full of college soccer players. Which sounds great but it was not easy! Here I was going from eating whatever I wanted because I would just swim/lift weights 3-5 hours a day to now having to watch every single thing I ate and how much exercise I got to help maintain. So living with 4 other collegiate soccer players and watching what these girls could eat, well it didn’t help! My friend Amber and I started jogging together in her off-season. I could barely make it a block! I started out really slow and sometimes I really asked myself why was I doing this?! I kept after it and by the end of our Junior year we were signed up to run our first half marathon at the OKC Memorial Marathon. It was so inspiring to have all of these people come out to run on that Sunday. That is when I can honestly say I fell in love with running. I was one with the road. It helped me through some really hard times. I actually beat Oprah’s time in a full marathon which was super cool! When I crossed that finish line that year I had just gone through a major break up and I needed to be able to stand on my own again! And for what ever reason finishing that run in the time I did proved I could do anything. So for the next 8 years or so I continued to run and run and run.

The last half marathon I ran was in 2014. I can honestly say I have not run over 3 miles ever since! And it has been amazing! I feel as if I hung my shoes up! I’m not having to plan to get all these runs in, or what to wear and watch the weather to know how to prepare. Now we just get out and go walk the dog! It has been really awesome! 🙂 I’m sure my joints are thanking me for it as well.

So really what I wanted to talk about was to circle back to the questions up at the top. Is it right for you? Well, since this blog is specific to WeightWise Bariatric program, I would say we generally encourage patients to “Exercise smarter, NOT harder”. So if patients are coming to us with the goal of losing weight, will running help? Not necessarily. When we workout hard, and by hard your heart rate is up and you are out of breath, you end up in more of a cardiovascular exercise. Which is great for your heart but if you haven’t been exercising consistently then there is no reason to jump into running. Let’s walk before we run. Now I do have patients who have lost their weight and decided this was the right path for them to take and that is great! That is awesome but there is absolutely nothing wrong with just being a walker folks!

Is it hard? Well, of course it is 🙂 I ran the other day, another attempt at getting ready for this 5k I have coming up. I started jogging and my feet, my knees, my back all started to feel something they haven’t felt in a long time, pressure in the joints! My heart was also racing and my breathing was much heavier, as I continued on I thought to myself, this is ridiculous and how did you get so out of shape, you better finish at least a mile! All these more negative thoughts started to consume me. So that was really hard! I think any new exercise to you can be difficult, our bodies aren’t quite use to them and even if we were great at this exercise in the past  it doesn’t mean we will just jump right up and get back in the groove quickly. It takes time! Don’t be to hard on yourself! Best piece of advise I can give you is to wear good shoes and don’t wear cotton socks! 🙂

Do you get the “perfect body” from running? Let’s just start by saying that there is NO such thing as the perfect body! Models can even find flaws! You be happy with you! That is so much easier said than done. I totally realize that! Especially women. We tend to be able to pick out the flaws and it might just be you who see them, others may never notice! Be kind to yourself. I would say most runners have a longer more lean muscles rather than the look of a body builder. So if that is your goal and what you feel like would look the best on you, then sure running could help. However, walking can get you that look as well. The best way to achieve the “perfect body” is to be the perfect you, you can be! 😉

Is it over rated? Ummmm that is kind of loaded question for me currently! I signed up to do a 5k in October and I just can’t quiet seem to get motivated! I ran the other night and it was super hard! So for me currently, it’s absolutely over rated lol but we’ll see how I feel after I finish the run. Has this ever happened to you? Yes of course right! So running, is it over rated? Well, if your goal is weight loss then YES I would say it is over rated! Because we want to “Exercise Smarter, NOT Harder” and we want to be fat burning machines, so we must walk before we run. I think you can achieve all the good feelings you get from running all from a walk, zumba, barre, yoga, elliptical, tread-climber, bike, rowing, swimming, the list goes on and on. It’s all about what works for you! Keep it simple and if you end up hungry reevaluate your intensity. Fat burning occurs when you can carry on a conversation with a little effort but not completely winded! Keep that in mind! We want to be able to talk while exercising.

I think there are people who are more natural runners and then there are others that running just doesn’t work for. Don’t think you have to be a runner to lose weight! Most of the time you just end up more hungry and snack a little more here and there and don’t lose weight. That is why we encourage walking, it’s still great exercise but kinder on your joints and most of the time you are in a better fat burning zone verses a cardiovascular zone (carb craving). Exercise SMARTER, NOT harder!

We always have the VO2 testing to help get more specific and able to find our target heart rate zone. So if you are interested in that check us out and get scheduled!

Find what works for you! Enjoy it and find joy with the fact that you took time for you!