Why Do We Love to Run?

There is something more at stake than achieving a personal best in our footraces. Something deeply human is behind our strong insistence at running through the pain and fatigue we cause ourselves. 

What's the Latest Development?

Almost anywhere you go, it seems joggers are jogging down sidewalks, trails, streets and on treadmills. But why? There are plenty of ways to stay fit, yet running remains king. Some runners may claim that achieving personal bests is what keeps them going, even in the face of dreading pain and fatigue, a feeling that often strikes just before a jog begins. But avid runner Adharanand Finn doesn't buy this explanation. For Finn and his friends, achieving their running goals entails a sense of let down after so much effort has been put into the buildup. Rather, having an unachieved goal is more motivation. 

What's the Big Idea?

Instead of looking to people's self-aware explanations, and justifications, for why they jog, there may be something deeply human about our love of running. Theories of evolutionary biology developed at Harvard University suggest that humans are hardwired to run often and for long distances. Over many generations, humans became better at survival by essentially outlasting faster prey over long stretches of land. "Somewhere a primal essence stirs deep within us; this being born not to sit at a desk or read newspapers and drink coffee, but to live a wilder existence." 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Guardian

Related Articles

To save us, half of Earth needs to be given to animals

We're more dependent on them than we realize.

(Photo Lily on Unsplash)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists says our survival depends on biodiversity.
  • A natural climate strategy we often forget.
  • Seeing our place among the Earth's living creatures.
Keep reading Show less

New infographics show how cigarette smokers are socially penalized

There's a high social cost that comes with lighting up.

Sex & Relationships
  • The home improvement company Porch recently polled 1,009 people on their feelings about smoking.
  • The company recently published the results as infographics.
  • In terms of dating, 80 percent of nonsmokers find the habit a turnoff
Keep reading Show less

The "catch" to being on the keto diet

While short-term results are positive, there is mounting evidence against staying in ketosis for too long.

Brendan Hoffman / Getty
Surprising Science
  • Recent studies showed volunteers lost equal or more weight on high-carb, calorie-restricted diets than low-carb, calorie restricted diets.
  • There might be positive benefits to short-term usage of a ketogenic diet.
  • One dietician warns that the ketogenic diet could put diabetics at risk for diabetic ketoacidosis.
Keep reading Show less