Picture a running man. Now picture a running man wearing nothing but a singlet and shorts. Sreeni Nair, whose social media you may have seen, has been inspiring locals by being fun, relatable, and making running seem like something anyone can pick up.
Nair, who grew up in India and moved to the U.S. around 20 years ago, is a resident of Ewing. By day, he’s just a regular guy working in technology for a corporation that has offices in this area. However, outside of work, you can catch him running in local parks and trails in all kinds of weather with the minimum amount of clothing possible.
Nair, explaining his reasoning for this, stated, “I am by nature a little lazy. Like everyone else, I hate doing things that take up time but don’t really add any worth. Anyway, the normal way to do cold weather running is to dress in layers. I used to follow this advice, but one day I just went out wearing shorts and a singlet. To my pleasant surprise, I didn’t feel any colder. Then I tried running with just shorts on, and that felt even better.” Nair, showcasing the honesty locals love about him, continues, “So I thought — what is the point in spending all my time picking and choosing what to wear, when the solution is not to wear anything at all? It solves a lot of problems — less clothes to buy, less decision-making, less chafing (runners will know this), and less laundry.”
If you just laughed at this description, don’t worry. “At times, I laugh at myself for wearing skimpy clothes and going out to run, but if it inspires someone to exercise, or even if it makes someone smile in the morning, then it makes me all the more happy,” Nair explains. But don’t let this give you the impression that Nair isn’t a serious runner. He regularly runs 10ks and even longer distances.
Nair discusses how his motivation to start running didn’t come from anything special. He bought a book titled The Beginning Runner’s Handbook and started doing exactly what the book prescribed to run a 10k. “I haven’t stopped since,” Nair smilingly states.
For Nair, the physical benefits of running are secondary. This seems to be the key. Paradoxically, when you force yourself to run to get the exercise you know you need, you end up not sticking to your regimen. Nair explains, “For me, the greatest benefit is the joy it brings. Running, by itself, causes the body to produce endorphins that cause euphoria (“runner’s high”). In addition, when I run on the roads and see people and places, or when I run on the trails and see the beauty of nature, it is all a bonus.” Focusing on these other aspects of running seems to be the key to sticking with running.
Nair gives advice to anyone who wants to start running: “Start slow, mix a lot of walking with running, and don’t get carried away with the miles run, or at your speed, at least for the first 6 months. We have beautiful parks and easy trails all around us (Mercer Meadows, Rosedale Park, Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), the Watershed trails, Washington Crossing State Park, etc.), so all you need is a pair of shoes, a pair of shorts, and a t-shirt/singlet, but you know the last item is strictly optional.”
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