Running is Overrated

Being a weight loss expert is similar to being a priest. People are always confessing their weight loss sins to you. When I am at a party, people often proclaim to me that tomorrow is the day they are going to start losing weight. I don’t mind listening because weight loss always starts with a proclamation. What I don’t like are the tactics. 6 times out of 10, the person will tell me that they are going to lose weight by eating less and running more. Everyone believes that running is the key to weight loss. I disagree. I believe that running is overrated.


Running is a great exercise:

  • It burns many calories. A 150 pound person, running five miles per hour for an hour will burn over 600 calories.
  • It strengthens your cardiovascular system. A strong heart leads to a long life.
  • It is cheap. All you need are some clothes and a pair of sneakers. In some communities, the clothing is optional.
  • You have multiple venue choices. You can run around a neighborhood, on a treadmill, up a hill, on an indoor track, on an outdoor track, up stadium steps, on the beach, or up the Rocky steps in Philadelphia. The list goes on and on.
  • You can even run to build relationships. There are social networks all about running. They have magazines, websites, forums, social groups, and dating services dedicated to running.

Dr. Kal Does Not Run

There are a multitude of running benefits. Running is great. However, I don’t run. I have never run and I will never run. I don’t run because:


  • Reason #1 – Running can be very hard on your knees. However, so can being overweight or obese.
  • Reason #2 – I don’t like running

I am a firm believer in not doing exercises that you do not enjoy doing. It amazes me when people who despise running, force themselves to do it. I think they believe that running is an acquired taste like beer.

Choosing an Exercise

I understand the fascination with running. There are not many activities that offer all of the benefits that running can. However, you can only reap these benefits if you actually do the running.

If you dislike an exercise, you will not do it regularly. To lose weight and keep it off, you must find an activity or exercise that you see yourself doing over the long haul. You will burn more calories running than walking. However you will burn more calories walking three hours a week than you will running one hour a week.

To lose weight and keep it off you should increase your activity. However, that activity need not be running. Experiment with different activities, find one you like, and do it as often as possible.

Dr. Kalvin Chinyere is a weight-loss expert and ex-fat man. He is also the creator of the Don’t Go Broke Weight Loss Plan and the main contributor at Dr. Kal’s Blog.

About the Author

Dr. Kalvin Chinyere is a physician, weight-loss expert and ex-fat man. He is also the creator of the Don’t Go Broke Weight Loss Plan and the main contributor at Dr. Kal’s Blog.

Community Thoughts (19)

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  1. Hood WorkoutNo Gravatar says:

    I agree, do not push yourself too hard to do something that you do not like, if you have alternatives that you like. There are aerobic classes, elliptical machines, rowing machines, swimming, and many other things that can do your body good. Get that heart rate up to a good rate for you and keep it up 😉

    I am currently running stairs. Not exactly aerobic as I do not do it as long as I should, but it is something I enjoy and can do during my schedule. Tae Bo is also good if no one knows you do it…

    • IsraelNo Gravatar says:

      You guys are right. I come from the old school mentality that running is necessary. I enjoy it now, but before it was always a hassle. Many beginners think that you need to run in order to get in shape, guys like you are opening ours eyes.

  2. MizFitNo Gravatar says:

    AMEN!!!to all of it.the people confessing left & right :)the running (which I only do if chased)the finding an exercise you enjoy (pogo-sticking springs to mind!)all of it. MizFit

  3. KimberlyNo Gravatar says:

    I’m going to do some running later this summer. Not to lose weight or for cardio benefits. Because I haven’t been able to run in over 20 years. I’m getting a total hip replacement next month. I don’t plan on becoming a runner, maybe a walker again. But I just want to go for some runs because I CAN!

    And I can’t wait to get back into my weight lifting and kickboxing either. 😀

  4. I prefer cycling to running. less prone to injuries and its more fun.

  5. ViralKingNo Gravatar says:

    I run on and off, something I need to do every morning…

    If you are overweight, you MUST make sacrifices, non of this, ‘well i don’t like it’ talk, just do it!!!

  6. Dr. KalNo Gravatar says:

    For some people, getting out of your comfort zone works, but not everyone. I lost 140 pounds without doing strenuous cardio, because I hate strenuous cardio. There is no one formula for weight loss. Experimentation is the key. You can actually like losing weight if you find activities you enjoy.

  7. ScottNo Gravatar says:

    I completely agree. I used to enjoy running as part of an activity in my youth. The Army taught me how to hate running. My cardio love is my road bike. The scenery changes quickly enough for me and I can vary my speed to the workout that I have planned for the day.

    But most of all, it is easier on my knees!!!

  8. I think running (or sporting) is the key to lose weight. Because I am eating a lot of junk food and fat thing, but still I get the same weight, because I am playing football (3times a week). So, sporting is the key to succes. If you want to lose weight, you have to do more exercises for the calories you had eaten.

  9. Walking is always better than running, I agree with you 🙂

  10. Dr. JNo Gravatar says:

    I have been running for a while and it has been very good for me. That said, as long as you do some type of aerobic activity and maintain a decent V02 max. you will be fine.

  11. Running is freakin’ great, man. you just gotta get the right shoes and you’re set. They make all the difference.

  12. Coral SnakeNo Gravatar says:

    i personally love running , i mean theres just that feeling you get afterwords … its pretty amazing ! i mean, it also fels darn great to say : ” hey i just ran 5 miles” .. but , i mean its not for everybody , and its tough , so most of the time, those who say they are gonna run , don’t really do it, or start to and realize that its not all that easy , and just give up … but i mean , whatever you love doing , do it !

  13. Hey Doc!

    I agree with you too that the wear and tear running has on your joints will be detrimental after a long time of doing so especially if your gait pattern is incorrect.

    I myself like to do high intensity cardio and plyometrics:
    1. It’s fun
    2. You don’t have to spend hours a day doing it.
    3. It helps to build strength for your daily activities as well as your cardiovascular health.

    the list goes on and on.

  14. megg evansNo Gravatar says:

    i play football 4 times a week in goal for six years that has kept me fit an all my muscles are strong. i dont play outfield as i dont like running.

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