Running: The Eternal Fitness Trend That Will Keep Your Pockets Full
When did becoming healthy get so darn expensive? Seriously.
If I truly wanted to, I could run out to McDonalds right now and get a dangerously delicious large fry for a dollar and some change. So why is it that when I go to the store for one of my favorite snacks (a bag of dehydrated mangoes if you must know—try them), I’m horrified to see that they cost nearly FIVE dollars?
Unfortunately for us babes who pride ourselves on our drastically diminishing waistlines complete with before and after pics (hello, have you been on instagram lately?!), it doesn’t stop there. From expensive gym memberships with pricey personal trainers to costly workout apps, staying in shape has become something attainable only to those with a certain level of disposable income—and girl, if you DO fall into that category, I’m certainly not mad at you.
But what about the rest of us who qualify as professional penny pinchers? We need love, too.
Well, no one ever said life was fair. Except when it’s being lived on smartphones, obvi… but even then, it’s nothing more than a 100 yard dash to see who get to the hippest and trendiest items first. Remember when health and wellness wasn’t even a thing? Sure, it existed for fitness buffs and geeky athletes (yes, you can be a nerd and an athlete… just watch Mean Girls if you don’t believe me) who thought their abs would turn to jello the minute they stepped outside of a gym. But for us ordinary mortals? Clothes, shoes, makeup, hair. That was pretty much it in the #lifegoals department. Ah, times were much simpler then.
But in today’s world where nothing exists if it’s not posted on social media, even our workouts have to look good—no, they have to be the best. Think about it: we have to look good while we’re TAKING STEPS to look good…and it usually comes at a price. It means custom workout gear, “gym hair, don’t care” sweatbands, the hottest group classes, and sneakers color-coordinated to not only your outfit, but the decor of your workout space. That’s a lot of pressure for someone just trying to live their best life, and many of us are breaking the bank to do it.
But there is a way out. You can run far, far away from the problem. Literally.
Before skipping out on basic necessities—like, um, food—for the sake of that health club membership or barre class all your squad members are taking, spend a minute getting back to the basics. Just you, your sneakers, some tunes (thank you, airpods!) and the pavement. It’s free, and a safe space away from the prying eyes of the gram. In fact, aside from saving your wallet, there quite a few benefits running has that its flashy fitness counterparts don’t have. Above all—running lets you do you, boo.
EXPLORE THE WORLD
Think fast! Would you rather spend an hour taking in the spectacular views of nature… or in a stuffy, enclosed space staring at an ugly wall? Don’t worry, it wasn’t really a question. Just realize THAT is the real choice being made whenever you decide to go to a gym rather than for a run in your nearby park, mountains, or lake. Now, all you wanderlusters out there, pay special attention here. When times are tough and you can’t afford that trip you’ve been dying to take...go for a run instead. It’s a fairly cheap way to satiate your travel bug—and burn a few calories from last night’s rooftop bar binge drinking while you’re at it.
GET HIGH ON LIFE
Runner’s High is not just a lit song by XamVolo, you know. As you run, your brain releases endorphins and endocannabinoids, aka Mother Nature’s own personal mood lifter. According to doctors, the sensation is not unlike the high produced by lighting up a joint… and yet many of us probably do our best thinking while we run. Hmmm. Maybe something to consider the next time your bestie is being selfish at the bong (remember: puff puff, pass).
PUSH YOUR BODY’S LIMITS
You never know how strong you have to be until doing something you’ve never done before. Running has the benefit of boosting your cardio levels and provide the ultimate strength training while testing your endurance. And babes—the beauty of it all is that there are limitless benchmarks to set and conquer, and certainly no shortages of distances to run. With each barrier you crush you will gain a little more confidence— and ultimately, total independence.
BE IN GOOD COMPANY
Notice how adventurous individuals, though while often doing solo activities are almost never alone? Like Cheryl Strayed during her “Wild” journey. Runners are no different. There seems to be an invisible thread linking people from marathon runners, to CrossFit trainers to those who do it just because they can. Yes, organizations like the New York Road Runners Club exist all over the United States, but I’m talking about something a bit more subtle. I’m talking about looking up over my cat eye sunglasses from a bench in Central Park to see different runners — from different walks of life, heading in different directions— silently communicate to one another; acknowledging one another with every step. And no, they don’t care about how they look to me. They look free.