Can running be used as self mortification?

Pizza could be used for mortification but there are probably better choices.

Leaving salt off your food, no cream in coffee, stand instead of sit, remaining silent, etc., are probably better ways.

It could, I suppose.

However, one should never practice self mortification (except for occasional fasting as proscribed by the Church) without oversight from a competent spiritual director and clearance from one’s medical doctor if involving strenuous exercise or extreme fasting

Yes, this.

I run and I actually quite enjoy it…though I also sometimes hate it. Which I think is pretty normal for runners. :stuck_out_tongue: During a “hate it” time, I have offered it up for various intentions. But I wouldn’t purposefully engage in it as self-mortification.

Running releases endorphins so it should make you feel good.

Runner’s high is a thing, that’s true. But there’s also a lot of injuries, major and minor, that runners face, in addition to regular ole fatigue and muscle soreness. So it’s not like a person goes out and runs and experiences constant ecstasy. :rolleyes: It’s also just not an enjoyable activity for some people, who would get a similar endorphin rush from another form of exercise.

Definitely not constant ecstasy, just a nice glow afterwards. In my experience it diminishes the more you run and the more your body adjusts to new fitness levels. You can get injured if you overtrain, that’s for sure.

A body is more alive the more he or she moves, so I wouldn’t call it mortification, per se

Still, bringing the body back into the life of faith is desirable in itself.


I’ve tried to replicate the runners high through other sports. It is very difficult.

The only thing that comes close is a fixed-gear bicycle. It approximates the motion of running closer than any other sport.

I think the OP would do better with something like biting his tongue whenever he feels the urge to say something bad about someone. There is no endorphin rush but learning to keep silent is a great virtue.


I had a classmate in the seminary who ran as a means of self mortification.

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