Simply because they don’t know how to train anything else.
Take it easy. Let me explain. This is not a text against running, you can put the guns down now. If you like to run and it is good for your mind (since there are very few benefits for your body, but I won’t talk about that right now), then continue.
A lot of people, even couch potatoes, feel that urge to move when they are on vacation, to do something with the body… and running is a frequent choice, because it is more accessible and anyone can do it. (Okay, not quite. Actually, even running has to be taught properly. Watching people run is almost like watching a horror parade; professional trainers writhe in agony when they see gaits that compromise not only the quality of the exercise, but also the joints and the body’s “shelf life”).
Feeling the urge to exercise when on vacation is not a random thing. If you’re a little more connected to your body than average, you’ll feel this pressing need to move. There are several reasons for this urge, one of which is very simple: the body is rested. When we are no longer on our work routine, cortisol levels drop drastically, causing the body to operate with much more potential than it is used to.
We were born to move in different and complex ways. Many of us don’t realize it because we never gave our body system a chance to use its true potential – and when we do, it is often some repetitive movement, like running; we end up failing to explore the endless possibilities of our motor patterns.
Let a child loose on the beach for three hours. Do you know what will happen? That child will move for three hours straight. It is that simple. Children don’t need anyone teaching them how to move or correcting their movement in any way, because their system is still perfect – it hasn’t yet been ruined by the chairs we make them stay seated on for six hours every day, ever since they start school.
And as an average adult if you do not explore your body’s potential on a regular basis, when you’re at the beach you may try to run down a slope, play football with your nephew, perform a cartwheel… and you may end up twisting your ankle! Next, you place a label on yourself: “I can no longer do this sort of thing. I’m too old for this”. That is just sad.
What I advocate, learn and teach is that we should constantly use our bodies in different and (especially) intelligent ways. I’m a practitioner of the Ido Portal Method, which is devoted to multidisciplinary movement. In this method, we maintain a practice based on diversity and longevity, as grounded in science theory as in experimentation, as yin as yang. And why did I choose it? Simply because it is the highest form of movement practice I found in the world. And also because I don’t want to just run every time I go to the beach.
Rodrigo Salustiano Lima