Running used to be my go-to exercise for fitness, weight loss, and health, until I found some pretty powerful reasons to give up running I had never considered before. Running gave me a high that was hard to explain, much more than just the endorphin high I got from the rush of adrenaline. It gave me a sense of control, and while that isn’t always a bad thing, for someone who’s obsessed with exercise and using it to control their life, it is a problem. Exercise is one of the best ways to lower stress, control your stress, and take care of your mind and body. What it isn’t, is a weapon to use as your personal arsenal in your fight against yourself. Exercise can be a gift, or it can be a nightmare when it becomes something that controls you. You don’t have to give up all exercise though, and I’m not saying running is bad. I’m just pointing out that running is easy to become obsessed with. Try considering some of these reasons to give up running if that sounds familiar. You can always pick it back up later, and might even enjoy it more then when you do!
1. You’re Always Tired
One of the first reasons to give up running I noticed was that I was always tired, no matter what I did to try to recover. Supplements, shakes, lots of sleep, everything I tried didn’t seem to quite cut it. Then, I realized my body was literally begging for me to rest.
2. You’re Overly Stressed
If you find yourself stressed a good portion of the day, it’s not your imagination. It’s truly your adrenal glands telling you they need a break. Your adrenal glands are located near your kidneys and regulate your stress levels, metabolism, and regulate themselves based on the inflammation in your body. No matter how healthy you eat or how much you sleep, over exercising is one of the quickest ways to tax out the adrenal glands. All forms of stress will exhaust them, because they have to work harder and harder to bring the body back to balance. too much exercise will most definitely cause an imbalance, so give your body a break, and your stress levels will even back out. You’ll feel more relaxed, even in the smallest ways. Do more calming exercises like walking, yoga, stretching and Pilates for a while.
3. Your Hair is Thinning
If your hair is thinning out no matter how healthy you eat, it could be a sign you’re taxing your body. When you burn a certain amount of calories and aren’t eating enough to refuel those lost calories, your hair can start to thin and even fall out.
4. Your Period Has Stopped
Many professional and everyday runners experience this issue firsthand. Running can cause amenorrhea, which is the loss of a woman’s menstrual cycle. When a woman drops weight, or exerts so much stress onto their body, her period will usually stop. If menopause isn’t the cause, it is usually just a sign of stress on the body, whether from too much exercise, or nutritional deficiencies. Usually, when exercise is reduced, or even sometimes stopped, her period will return. Try giving up running if your period has stopped. A loss of a period is not healthy and can change everything from your hormones to your fertility chances if not dealt with immediately.
5. You Can’t Keep on Weight
I know this seems like a good problem to have, but trust me, it isn’t. If you can’t keep on weight and just keep losing more and more, you need to stop running. Losing too much weight comes with heart risks, early menopause, malnutrition, thyroid risks, sluggish metabolism, depression and looking gaunt in your clothes. Try to start walking instead of running for a little while. This won’t make you gain a lot of weight, but might help you stop losing weight and help your weight balance itself back out again.
6. You Look Gaunt
If your cheeks have sunk into your face, your shoulders look bony and you can see a good bit of the bones in your chest, arms, legs and back, you need to give up running for a while. Looking gaunt is a sign your body is suffering, and despite what others may think of you, it also makes you more susceptible to bone fractures, injuries and constant bruising. Coming from experience, I always hated looking in the mirror and looking this way, even though I couldn't’ make myself stop. Trust me, it doesn’t look or feel healthy, so do yourself a favor and slow down on the running a bit.
7. You Feel Addicted to It
If you truly feel like you can’t go a day without running, then you might have an addiction to running. Being addicted to exercise not only takes away from your social life, but also your mental freedom. Allow yourself to do other things besides run if you truly feel addicted to it.
8. It Doesn’t Excite You
If you run just because you think you need to, and it really doesn’t even make you happy or feel good, just stop. If you’re doing it every day just to stay thin, or because you’re afraid to stop, or perhaps because it’s just what you think is the best way to exercise, don’t do it anymore. It’s really that simple! There are too many other forms of healthy exercise to enjoy, and probably ones that will make you much more excited to get out and move your body each day.
9. You Feel Anxiety if You Can’t Run
If you’re in a situation, such as on vacation, and your routine gets thrown off, not allowing you to run, do you get anxious? Do you truly feel panicky if you can’t get out and run? If so, you have a problem, and I’ve been there. You need to stop running if this is you. There is plenty of others ways to move your body, so embrace them!
10. You Feel Dizzy Sometimes
If you’re running and get dizzy, that is definitely a sign to stop as soon as possible, but if you also find yourself getting dizzy throughout the day and you run a good bit during some point of the day, you could be taxing your body out and causing heart issues, along with an imbalance in your entire body. I used to experience dizzy spells through the day when I ran a lot, and now looking back, I can see just what I was doing to my body. It couldn’t keep up with what I was trying to make it do each day, and was sending me warning signs through dizzy spells. Dizzy spells usually come from hypoglycemia because running can use up all the glucose in your body, and if you don’t properly consume enough carbohydrates to make up for the loss of glucagon that is depleted during running, you might get dizzy as a result. If you eat plenty of carbs and still get dizzy, your body could still be suffering some sort of nutritional deficiency caused by too much running.
11. You Isolate Yourself to Run a Lot
If you avoid going out with others, avoid spending time with people, or isolate yourself from people in general, just because you feel you have to run, more than likely, you need to stop. Centering your life around running isn’t healthy, and while it is great to be passionate about exercise, obsessing about it is not healthy, no matter how you look at it. Stop running for a while, and maybe ask your friend or co-worker if she wants to join you for a yoga class, walk or something else instead!
Running is a fantastic form of exercise, but sometimes, it can get out of hand, or just not be serving you well. If for any reason you feel it isn’t doing you any good, and possibly harm, I hope you'll consider these reasons to stop running for awhile. Have you ever had an exercise addiction to running?