Q+A: “Isn’t Running an Inefficient Way to Spend Your Energy?”

Running seems pretty counterintuitive to nature, right? After all, the human body is essentially built to be self-regulating at all times — you push too hard, your body makes you lay off a bit. Your system gets stressed or taxed a bit, and suddenly you’re forced to recover. Running, on first glance, seems to burn off more energy than it creates. After thousands of years of evolutionary anthropology, why would we want to expend our energy when we don’t have to? Clearly the couch potatoes have it right….right?



I believe that there is a level of efficiency that is achieved with repeated motion. For instance, a programmer doesn’t really become adept until they go through the motions and actually program a few applications or websites. A dancer doesn’t learn to perform overnight, but instead takes years to perfect their form and presentation. Much in the same way, our body can’t possibly become as efficient as it can without some sort of practice. And that’s where running comes in to play.

I find that through running, I’m able to solve a lot more design and communications problems than without it. It’s almost as if the act of doing something physical stimulates the mental processes while making them more efficient. I read somewhere once that if you couldn’t solve a problem on a run then it probably wasn’t worth your energy to begin with.

Also, it seems as though that people who expend more energy exercising seem to have ample amounts of it. They are able to juggle more tasks, handle stress well, stay positive, eat better, and radiate vibrance. If the answer seems so easy, why isn’t everyone on the bandwagon?

Most of the time it seems as though “life gets in the way,” or people “get too busy to exercise,” or they “don’t enjoy it.” It seems as though people are setting themselves for failure by making excuses for themselves or not taking the time to really explore their interests. It makes me wonder what they are really busy doing — whether it’s working, dealing with family commitments, or helping others, are they really able to function at their best without taking at least a few minutes to themselves a day? What do you think?

I found this great quote that sums up my opinion quite nicely — It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you decide you can’t be stopped.