How I Came to Terms With Running

I live a very active lifestyle. Even if I'm not spending my day at the gym or at a fitness class, I'm doing something that gets me up and out the door. As much as I'd love to do some of my workouts in the comfort of my own home, living in the city means squeezing all of my possessions inside a shoebox-sized studio that leaves little room for walking, much less exercising. This lends itself to the next obvious choice of fitness: running.

I used to find myself actually cringing at the thought of going for a run. For some reason, running or jogging was like a form of inexplicable, but necessary, torture — one that I couldn't truly resent because of all the good I knew it did for me, but one I believed I could never love either. So I trod forward, trying to find ways to love (or even like) running. After some trial and error, I discovered a few fun things that encouraged me to lace up my running shoes and go. With these tricks and motivational methods, I even look forward to the occasional run now.

1. Look fabulous

If I go out and get the cutest running shorts and shoes I can find, then half the battle of getting out the door is already won. I want to show off my stylish running garb, and that alone can be motivation enough to at least get started. And no, unfortunately getting dressed and walking around the house does not count as a run.

2. Pick a beautiful running route

There's nothing like a quiet beach run at sunrise or a breezy jog on a path in the woods. If you can, find a place away from your regular walking routes so that your run offers new and interesting views.

3. Make an awesome playlist that motivates you

Nothing gets me more pumped than running to an awesome beat. I like to imagine myself in a movie at the climax — where I'm running toward an attractive guy, he's running toward me, and if we stop running, we'll miss our one shot at true love. Your run doesn't have to be as dramatic, but it's always nice to have good music to block out the world while you work it.

4. Take your dog along

Why not get two things accomplished in one go? Grab the leash and your furry friend, and take a run to your favorite spot.

5. Run with a friend

If you don't have a dog, or your dog dislikes running more than you do, try running with another person. If you do this, go with someone who has similar running skills so that you are pretty evenly matched. Sometimes I prefer running alone so that I don't have to worry about keeping up with someone who is faster or waiting around for someone who is slower. When you feel like going your own pace, go it alone, otherwise try pairing with a motivated friend.

6. Pretend that you are Katniss Everdeen

If you want to get really creative, pretend that you are Katniss Everdeen running for your life from a Hunger Games contestant who wants to eliminate the competition (which, in this case, is you). This is life-and-death, so move it!

7. Think of the nice, cold, guilt-free drink you can have later

Look at it this way: running is great cardio, and the more you do it, the less guilty you have to feel about having what you want to eat or drink later.

8. Have a destination

If I have errands to do close by, I like to run to my destination. I don't really mind showing up at the supermarket a little bit sweaty, so if you live close enough to stores you frequent, then consider running on the way and walking on the way back (assuming you'll have some bags to carry).

9. Walk and run

Accept the fact that running can be difficult, and embrace the (completely understandable) inevitability that you may need to stop and walk at times. I like to run steadily for a certain amount of time, and then power walk in intervals so that I don't get super burnt out. Pretend like you're stretching or changing the song — nobody will know the difference, I promise.

10. Keep trying!

One of the main reasons people hate running is because they don't know exactly how to do it best. Avoid running mistakes that can contribute to your aversion to running.