Benefits Of Running
Running is a popular workout that can be done at any time, any place. All you need is a pair of running shoes and perhaps your favorite tunes on download. While we all know that exercise is good for us, research proves that running can keep us healthy from the inside out and does far more than burn calories and keep your ticker healthy too. It’s also good for us on an emotional and psychological level, doing wonders for our mental health and preventing a whole host of unpleasant conditions, including heart disease and high blood pressure. The benefits of running are undeniable. In fact, you could argue that exercise is like medicine, only better! The benefits of running do far outweigh any pill you could pop. The side effects of running are all positive as far as we can tell. You’ll improve the quality of your life, reduce your body fat, feel much happier, and are likely to live much longer too. Seriously, what’s not to love?
Benefits Of Running For Everyone
It doesn’t matter what age you are, where you live, or what your current level of fitness is, running could be just what the Doctor ordered. You don’t need to sprint like Usain Bolt or have the endurance of Mo Farrah. Perhaps for you, just a gentle jog or speed walk around the block will suffice. The key is to grab those running shoes and commit to getting moving. Whether you do that on a treadmill or outdoors, try and do 30 minutes minimum to really see and feel the results. So let’s run you through (pardon the pun!) some of the biggest positive side effects you’re about to experience from your new passion for racking up the miles and smiles!
Running Promotes Increased Levels Of Happiness
As anyone who regularly workouts will tell you, no matter how good or bad you feel going into a session, you always, repeat always, come out the other side feeling a whole lot better. Exercise is a cathartic, therapeutic, and total stress buster. It also creates something that’s referred to as the “runner’s high” – a sudden rush of feel-good hormones that quickly dispel any negative vibes you might have been experiencing. They’re known as endocannabinoids and research as confirmed that with just one single 30-minute session of exercise, your mood is instantly and positively lifted.
Physical activity is actively promoted as a viable means of treating depression. So if you have a funk that you need to get rid of the natural way, don those sneakers and head out on the sidewalks of your neighborhood for some free therapy. Even if you’re not exactly feeling the vibe that day, you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel after a run. Better still, not only will you feel happier, but you will also sleep more soundly, improve your general mode, and have better concentration throughout the day.
Running Helps You Lose and Maintain Weight
We all know that exercise burns calories — some more than others. Running, which is known as a cardio-vascular activity because it elevates the heart rate, is a particularly effective fat burner. Additionally, your body continues to burn calories even after you’ve stopped. Known as the “afterburn,” running is the calorie-burning gift that keeps on giving! Scientifically it’s referred to as EPOC, which stands for excess post oxygen consumption. That doesn’t mean you can come home and slump on the sofa with a bag of chips! However, the great news is that you don’t have to sprint either to get into the afterburn zone. You just need to be exercising at an intensity that’s about 70% of your VO2 max. So a little bit faster than your easy pace but not requiring you to go hell for leather.
Running Helps To Strengthen Joints And Bones
While some people may excuse their dislike of running on the fact that it hurts their knees, running does actually promote an increased bone mass which will prevent age-related future bone loss. So next time someone tells you they can’t run because it’s bad for their knees, that’s not true. Running improves knee health. You can always prevent injuries by using adequate running equipment, in this case you will get the most benefit from shock-absorbing running shoes. Of course, if you have another underlying medical condition that’s preventing you from comfortably running, such as arthritis, then check with a personal trainer or your doctor first before starting any new exercise regime, running included.
Running Helps You Retain Mental Sharpness
There’s insurmountable evidence to prove that running and working out regularly can help counter age-related mental decline. It’s particularly effective at assisting with cognitive function, working memory, and simple things like task switching. Fitter older adults consistently score higher in psychological tests than their unfit peers.
Running Can Add Significant Years To Your Life
All research concludes that fit and healthy individuals who regularly exercise live much longer. Even if you are a smoker, just by running alone, it’s thought that you could add 4.1 years onto your life.
Health Benefits Of Jogging And Running
While running is faster than jogging and will ultimately burn more kilojoules, both are highly effective workouts. They are both classified as aerobic exercise, which means “with oxygen” and produces energy by combining oxygen with body fat or blood glucose. With regular commitment, you can build stronger bones and strengthen muscles, improve your overall fitness levels and burn fat, plus maintain a healthy weight. Running is also a killer leg exercise and can add serious tone and definition to your gluteus maximum, quads, calves, hamstrings, plus your inner and outer thighs. It’s the equivalent of doing around a dozen different leg exercises in one. Plus, no special equipment or expensive gym membership is required, either.
Running Works Your Core
We just talked about how effective running was for your legs which stands to reason. However, it’s also an excellent core-carver and challenges not only your six-pack muscles but also the much deeper, hidden stabilizing core muscles. These are crucial for spine health and supporting good posture. So if you want to reveal long and lean legs as well as rediscovering your abs, then running is the way to go.
- Running for health: Even a little bit is good, but a little more is probably better, Harvard Health Publishing
- Running slows the aging clock, Stanford researchers find, Stanford Medicine
- Is Running Good Or Bad For Your Health?, NPR