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You Asked: How to Stop Hating Running?

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Dear Fit,

I was wondering if you could give me some advice on my current running situation. During my senior year of college, I was in tip-top shape — exercising seven days a week, five of them running. I loved running. Slowly, over the last two years, I have gained weight though. And now, I really don't enjoy running. I have to drag myself to do it, and it's more of a chore. Is this because I am out of shape? Can you just get bored of it? Help! Any advice on how I can get back into it?
Once a Runner

I am sure this is a familiar situation for many readers, so hopefully it helps to know that you are not alone when it comes to losing your love for running. To see what I have to say about rekindling the fitness fire, just read more.

I too have had an on-again/off-again relationship with running in my life. While running is one of the most convenient forms of exercise, you just slip on your shoes and hit the streets, it is not the end-all be-all of exercise. You can get bored with running and extra weight will make running more difficult and harder on your joints, and therefore less enjoyable. But you can redefine your relationship with running and I have some ideas about how to do that.

  • Cross train. You can get back into shape with a wide variety of exercise. Add biking and swimming into your cardio routine, or for a big change try an exercise class like belly dance or hip-hop. Don't forget to try the empowering experience and high caloric burn of circuit training.
  • Play a game. If running feels boring, you are not alone. Many endurance runners speak of their sport as mostly a mental game. But playing games that have running in them might help you out of your fitness rut. Studies have shown that soccer beats jogging in weight loss and fun.
  • Make it social. Find a running buddy or a running group. I know that if I have the distraction of taking to a friend while running, the time flies by.
  • Find a race. I have found having a race to train for keeps me motivated. Having an end goal helps establish a training routine and keeps me going.

I sure do hope these suggestions help. Just know that if you like what you do for fitness, the chances are much higher that you will exercise. It might be time for you to experiment.

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