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4 Ways I Learned To Love Running (From A Running Hater)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Running has always been a last resort exercise for me. Whether it be in tennis conditioning or just a quick and effective workout, I always find some way to get out of it. Maybe it’s because of how uncomfortable it is to start running, or because of a fear of being considered an “ugly runner”, but I just never enjoyed the idea of running for the majority of my life. It could also be because of PTSD from COVID years which heavily consisted of Chloe Ting workouts and running a mile everyday. Anyway, after starting with a fresh new mindset, I’ve actually come around to loving running. It’s become my go-to workout, and with these four benefits you’re sure to build a new relationship with this long-despised activity as well!

Bye Bye Brain Fog

I think that the best pro to running is the fact that it clears your mind. For some reason, focusing on the discomfort and hate of running completely distracts me from every other stress or worry I have. It simply allows you time to think in peace and be present with yourself. Running also increases the flow of oxygen to your brain which helps you complete more difficult cognitive tasks. Because of this, I tend to run before a big exam to both calm my nerves and give my brain the necessary boost of oxygen to think at my max capacity.

Caffeine Replacement?

As a coffee addict, running could never replace my beloved coffee; however, it does provide a source of energy. I always feel more awake and ready to take on the day after running, since it energizes me and sets me up for a productive day! Also, if I run in the morning, it not only keeps me energized but it also makes me more conscious of my healthy eating patterns, since I’m more aware of what my body needs post-workout. So if you’re looking to stray away from energy drinks and coffee (or just need an extra boost of energy to get your day started), running is the thing to do.

The Great Outdoors

I don’t know about you, but most of my days are spent indoors in lectures or doing homework. Running gives you anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour of enjoying the great outdoors. The seemingly annoying exercise lets us get in touch with nature, explore new areas, and appreciate the world around us, all of which we often take for granted. Of course if you’re in a time crunch or the weather is bad outside, you don’t experience this on a treadmill. But any opportunity to go outside and run should definitely be taken. I’ve explored the Westwood area, neighborhoods of Bel Aire, and even Beverly Hills (on a good day) through running. A fun little tip is to keep note of cute shops or study spots that you encounter on your run to explore later!

Feeding Into Your Competitive Side

We all have a natural instinct to be competitive, even with one’s self. Running feeds into this competitiveness because you are setting constant and never-ending goals for yourself. Starting with a mile and building up to seven or eight is such a rewarding feeling, and this self-competition encourages you to keep trying until you reach your goal (and then set a new one!). There’s nothing better than healthy competition as motivation.

All of these benefits to running were definitely game changers for me. I find myself running three to four times a week, and although I still complain about it, I don’t hate it anymore. And of course running means getting a fresh set of cute running outfits, so essentially running means a shopping trip. Jokes aside, running is such a great form of exercise, whether it be on a busy day when you’re trying to squeeze in an effective twenty minute burn, or a nice sunny day when you want to explore the area around you!  

Hannah is a second-year Economics and Political Science major at UCLA, from Yuba City, California. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics from finance to up-and-coming trends! In her free time she loves baking, going to the beach, exploring the coffee shops of LA, and playing tennis.