Only a fraction of people who run do so because they love it, and most are motivated by boosting their body image and improving their heart and mental health, according to a global survey by the fitness-tracking app Strava.
Strava, which tracks the sports activity trends of some 50 million people in almost 200 countries, surveyed 25,000 runners and found that half of them say they either hate it or barely tolerate it, while only 8 per cent love it.
But running is often “connected with a sense of stability at a deeper level,” Strava said in a report of the survey’s findings. “Runners described the need to run to maintain their sense of self and as a way to respond to adversity.”
“There’s a great realization that to exercise the body also helps to exercise the mind – which is a muscle that needs just as much looking after as the other muscles,” said Simon Klima, Strava’s global marketing director.
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