Benefits of running include weight loss, stress relief, improved health, increased energy levels, etc. Read this article to see which benefits apply to you.
You’ve heard it all before. Running provides the key to a healthy life, but are we repeatedly tired of hearing the same thing? Don’t we already know all this? Yes, we do. But how many of us implement what experts suggest and start running?
Running is an excellent option if you love fitness and want to lose weight, prevent heart disease, fight anxiety and depression, reduce stress, increase fertility, and improve mood! Running can help you to lose weight. You’ll notice that you don’t need as much food when you run regularly. You won’t be consuming those sugary snacks or fatty foods because your body will naturally crave healthy options…
What are the health benefits of running?
Running improves your cardiovascular health
The first benefit of running is that it can improve your cardiovascular health. Performing cardiovascular exercises like running and jumping increases your heart rate and the need for oxygen in the body. This can help prevent cardiovascular disease or reduce the risk of future chronic conditions like breast, prostate, or colon cancer.
While running doesn’t pack on the pounds like strength training, it can significantly improve your cardiac health. You should run regularly to boost your heart rate and endurance to get the most out of your workouts.
Better cardiovascular conditioning can also reduce the risks of depression, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It may even increase your life expectancy by as much as two years!
Running helps you maintain a healthy weight
Running can help you maintain a healthy weight. It burns calories and can help you lose weight. One study found that running may cause your body to burn up to 30% more calories than other exercises like cycling or swimming.
Still, the calorie-burning benefits of running can help you maintain a healthy weight or even lose excess pounds. Weight loss happens when you consume fewer calories than your body burns off in day-to-day activities and while exercising. If you’re trying to lose weight, think about how much exercise you can do on top of what your body needs to do each day to exist. Running can provide that extra calorie burn needed to help achieve your desired health goals.
A 160-pound person who runs at 5 mph for a full hour burns roughly 635 calories. This is close to twice the amount of calories burned by walking at the same time. While it’s true that running does burn more calories than walking, walking still has many benefits. It may be a better option if you’re looking for something less intense.
Running strengthens your bones and joints
Because running is a weight-bearing exercise, it strengthens the bones and joints. It also reduces the risk of arthritis and helps to prevent injury to the knees, hips, ankles, and feet by building strong muscles around them.
Running with resistance strengthens muscles. With each stride, your foot lands on the ground, and your muscles react and stretch to the force of contact. Tendons and ligaments that attach muscles to bones are strained when they contract and flatten with each landing. This builds up their strength over time, effectively protecting them from injury.
Running greatly boosts your overall health since it increases your bone density and cardiovascular fitness. Like any aerobic workout, running raises the heart rate while sending oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Running is one of the most popular aerobic exercises in the world since it requires minimal equipment. Just a decent pair of running shoes and some comfortable training clothing. On top of that, it can be done practically anywhere!
Running reduces stress and boosts mood and sleep quality
It helps reduce stress, boost mood, and improve sleep quality.
A 2012 Michigan Technological University study revealed that running in the woods helped lower perceived effort and stress than running in the city.
A 2008 University of Kentucky study indicated that exercisers had 25% less stress, despair, and rage than non-exercisers. A 2011 Journal of Adolescent Health research found comparable outcomes for teenagers. Kids who exercised had higher self-esteem and were less sad than their counterparts who did not exercise.
Running may also assist with insomnia and increase sleep quality. A 2013 Northwestern Medicine research found moderate exercisers slept better, fell asleep quicker, and woke up more refreshed than non-exercisers. The same research found that those who ran had better sleep quality and fewer insomnia symptoms (a condition characterized by difficulties sleeping or staying asleep) than people who went to tone or stretching sessions.
Running improves memory, delays age-related mental decline, and helps stave off depression
Like all forms of exercise, running is a great way to give your brain a workout! It can help boost memory and mental health. It also improves learning, slows down, and even prevents cognitive decline as you age. In addition to the increased blood flow to the brain that aerobic exercise provides, running may also be a form of meditation-something that studies have shown to improve memory and learning. Finally, running can help you sleep better at night, which has been proven to help people retain memories from their day more effectively.
Running increases lung capacity and heart health
There are several ways running can make your heart stronger, but the most obvious is that running causes the heart to work harder. By making the blood pump faster, your heart is forced to work harder, which improves its functionality over time.
A study published by the American Council on Exercise found that runners had lower resting heart rates than non-runners and lower blood pressure. This means their hearts work more efficiently, requiring less pressure to pump blood throughout the body. Additionally, a study by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that subjects who ran at least 15 miles per week were 50% less likely to suffer from coronary artery disease than those who didn’t exercise regularly.
It’s never too late to start running
We know that getting started can be the most challenging part of running, so we’ve come up with a few ways to help you ease into it:
Start with a run/walk routine
If you’re new to running, start by doing run intervals of 10 minutes and brisk walking for one minute between each run. Slowly lengthen your running time as it becomes easier. Use a running distance calculator to help you measure the distance.
Don’t worry about buying the right gear right away
The most important thing is just putting one foot in front of the other. Just wear comfy running shoes when you take your first steps outside; they’ll support your feet and make running easier on your joints.
Set small goals at first and build from there
Instead of setting out to finish a 5K marathon first, start by simply committing to going on a 30-minute run three times per week. Or having fun with friends or family members who enjoy running on the weekend runs.
Get an accountability buddy!
It’s always more fun to do things with others trying to reach their goals (and you can even get pushy if someone else is involved!). If possible, recruit a friend or family member with similar health goals and make plans to go for runs together once or twice per week-you’ll be less likely to cancel when someone else is counting on you!
Find inspiration from fellow runners on social media for motivation!
Running is one of the best forms of exercise for many reasons. The top among them is its benefits to our mental health. In addition to improving memory and preventing cognitive decline as we age, running can help us sleep better, increase our lung capacity and heart health, and even boost our mood! It’s never too late to start running-just. Find a routine that works for you and get started today. And don’t forget to be inspired by fellow runners on social media who work hard every day to reach their fitness goals!
Alex is a fitness aficionado, empowers others towards healthier, active lives through small, sustainable changes for lasting results. Visit Gearuptofit.com for insightful tips and resources to enrich a balanced lifestyle.