A lot of people ask whether running can be classed as a hobby and who can blame them?
Most people look at running as just a way to lose weight or tick a box that says you’ve done your daily workout when in reality it can be much more than that for many people — it could be for you too.
Running is the ability to open your door and propel yourself into another world away from home, whether that be through a local park, up a hill, along the coast, and heck even on a treadmill if it gets you out of the house.
Outdoor Vs. Treadmill Running
Let’s not unfairly target people who prefer to stay at home, though, especially when you can also have a great workout on a treadmill.
In fact, treadmill running could be considered much safer if you include risk factors outside of the house such as traffic or nearby roadworks.
Home treadmills also serve some practical advantages too such as making it easier to stay in touch with friends as you can simply rest your phone or tablet on the front panel.
You can also harness the power of your smart devices to create a virtual running experience through mediums such as YouTube, or with pre-recorded running footage through scenic vistas.
In fact, when you start thinking creatively about how you can enhance your running experience then you may just have a hobby on your hands.
Is Running a Hobby?
So, to answer the question directly, running can be classed as a hobby if you do it for enjoyment rather than as a mandatory chore.
This is the most important distinction to make between whether an activity can be considered a hobby or whether it’s just a task that needs to be completed.
In fact, we’ve also constructed a list of topics that highlight things that conclude running is more than just exercise for you — scroll down to see if you agree with us.
Running: Hard Labor or Hobby? 5 Things That Say It’s More Than Just Exercise
1. You do it for the buzz
If you’re running for the buzz then there’s a good chance you’re enjoying it and it’s becoming more of a hobby rather than a task for you.
This is especially the case as you start to get fitter and find that running gives you the freedom that you can’t experience in any other way.
In fact, some days you’ll find you have so much energy that you can keep pushing your body to the limit and break all previous obstacles that might have seemed hard before.
These are the moments you can capitalize on that really help to cement running as a fun experience rather than a chore that needs to be ticked off your list.
Plus, it’s known that running helps stimulate the release of endorphins which are feel-good hormones that many people benefit from to help them destress and unwind.
2. You like linear progression and beating personal bests
If you like straightforward progression and the ability to beat previous personal bests then running is really a great hobby for being able to do this.
It’s very simple; run further than you ran last time or complete the distance in a faster time.
If you find you’ve been drawn into this system of self-competition then you may just find that running has become more of a hobby rather than a task.
Another great thing about the progression system in running is that you can get fitter really quickly, often over a case of weeks rather than months.
This means it’s easy to keep trying to do better every week which also means it often fits easily within most peoples schedules making it a great exercise hobby
If you want accuracy during your runs then we recommend picking up a cheap Fitbit as it’ll include some really handy features such as steps taken, distance traveled, GPS (to map your runs), and your average heart rate during the run.
3. You’ve joined a club
If you’ve joined a running club then we can almost guarantee this is more of a hobby rather than an arbitrary task — We’re not saying you will enjoy running week in, week out, but running clubs are a great way to perpetuate the inspiration that you feel on those days when you’re naturally full of energy.
Club running is a great way to push yourself a little further and it’s also a good way to create a shared experience between many people who have similar interests.
If you’re an avid social media user then you can also use your running club as a way to inspire others by sharing pictures from your exercise sessions.
It’s also just a great way to gain experience that otherwise may have taken you many years to learn such as correct running technique, which shoes to buy, and how to make your running experience much better overall.
4. You buy all the running gear
Look, anyone can go out running in a pair of dusty old shorts and a 10-year-old pair of Nike’s, but if you’re really enthused by the prospect of going for your run then you’ll probably find that you’ve ended up buying several different pieces of equipment such as a Fitbit, Dri-fit leggings, Dri-fit tops, cushioned running socks, running shoes, and maybe even some wireless earbuds.
This type of commitment to getting the best running gear has all the traits of your running sessions being more of a hobby rather than a boring task that you were forced to d.
Although proper running kit/accessories are definitely not a necessity, we think they help enhance the experience, especially for those days when you find it hard to motivate yourself.
Feeling comfortable in what you’re in or motivated by the music that’s pumping in your ears may be all you need to get through the next mile or two.
5. You share it on social media
Most people when they’re proud of an accomplishment usually want to tell all their friends or family about it, which is where social media comes in very handy.
Being able to share that 10-mile run you’ve just completed in record time right at the moment you finish is almost like bringing the people along with you.
It’s nice to feel supported in the hobby you’re following even if your friends don’t fully understand it or enjoy it as you do.
It’s easy to overshare information on social media but we really love being able to do so for moments like this where you’ve really accomplished something monumental in your own life.
And hopefully, this may even inspire others that you know to take up healthy habits like running, or even other forms of exercise hobbies.
Running is a healthy hobby and can be enjoyed just like other more traditional hobbies such as collecting, arts and crafts, Lego, and more.
The main benefit of running as a hobby is that it can improve your overall health at the same time and stave off mental decline as you get older.
This is very important as it means if you can learn to enjoy exercise as a hobby then you will be killing two birds with one stone and reaping greater benefits.
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