I hate, hate, HATE running -- but I love the way it makes my body look. I also love to eat -- so there's that.
My goal is to run a 10 minute mile comfortably, and to run at least 5 miles a day. So far, I'm getting my mileage in and I can run that 10 minute mile uncomfortably. It's definitely making me a better pugilist. I'm not faster yet and I don't have enough stamina but I have way more endurance than I did a few months ago. And believe me, that's progress.
Baby steps. If I were doing this 8+ hours a day -- like an actor that's training to play a fighter in a movie, for example -- this would be an entirely different conversation.
The number one reason why I run? Exercise relieves stress. And believe it or not, stress is almost as much of a factor in the aging process as the sun. Or smoking. When you're stressed out, your body pumps the hormones cortisol (otherwise known as the stress hormone) and norepinephrine (responsible for increasing your heart rate and blood flow, amongst other things) into your bloodstream -- and with that, BOOM! Your blood pressure goes up and your immunity goes down.
Chronic stress could mean that your body doesn't heal the way it should, your arteries harden and the areas of your brain involving learning, memory and mood shrink drastically. If you stay stressed, that could lead to depression, obesity, sleep disorders, skin problems, digestive problems and heart disease. All of that is minimized drastically when you exercise.
Wow. And with that, I just described way too many black people that I know.
There's no real way to get rid of stress completely so clearly, its important to learn how to manage it. You don't have to run -- but for the the sake of your quality of life, please do something.