Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Indians are generally reluctant to running?

Less than a year back, I was so disinclined, unenthusiastic and reluctant to running that the sheer thought of jogging made me feel useless and unproductive. One day last year, one of my colleagues signed me up for a 5k race and to save my face, I decided to take up running just for couple of weeks. Least did I know that this event will change my whole life in time to come. I have been a runner ever since. Less than a year… just in less than a year, I realized that there is nothing that a good jog can’t improve.

Today when I talk to my friends and family, they all admire what I have achieved and truly believe in what I am experiencing. However, when I go to any race – 5k, 10k or half Marathon, I rarely see any Indian in 35 plus age range participating. Believe me that hurt me most. Why guys? Why this reluctance? You need to understand that best therapy comes not on couch but in running shoes.

I talked to several of my friends in US, even in India and everybody has all kind of good reasons not to run or jog. The funniest comment I hear most of the time is “I don’t want to be Salman Khan or I am not a movie star so why to bother”.  In US, people claim to be busy all the time, weekdays or weekend. Running errands, taking kids to soccer game, attending birthdays, backyard work, carpet vacuum and the list goes on and on… I do the same too - but ask yourself – can you not spare one hour for something which could become your lifelong hobby and help you lose weight, improve fitness, relieve stress and above all make you feel accomplished.

We could spend hours on Internet or watching TV but do not want to jump out of our comfort zone. Most of us have joined a fitness gym at some point of time or bought a treadmill or elliptical at home but after a while either that goes for resale on eBay or Craigslist. And on a lighter note, I also know some folks who used it to dry wet clothes.

Yes, running may be hard initially. When I thought a year back to the times before I was a runner and I never wanted to try because running is just so darn hard! I remember how many times I thought about how crazy or boring it is to run. But, then one good day I took running and that became life changer. The key is to go for it at your own pace and your body will adapt after couple of try. To make it easy, just think about how it can make you like happy and healthy.  Most of us don’t understand the value of running because that’s not something we learned growing up back in India. The emphasis was just on study, career building, get married and then live happy ever after like a fairy tale. Unfortunately, we still have that mindset and that is why we ignore the long term benefits of running or jogging. And often, we come up with lame excuses.

I hope some of you may get into the world of running soon. As for me, I will continue writing these blogs to share my real life experiences and give few motivational tips. Whatever helps…


  1. Inspired by you and your blog i started jogging. Thanks

  2. I was a walker but on suggestion of Sanjeev I started running since last two days. Not much but I started with 1 Km. Hope it will increase.

  3. Certainly, it will. It is indeed a good start.

  4. yes, once a person starts running, there is no looking back.. the rewards running gives you are so much, that you will be less likely to give up..

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