Everyone knows that the act of running benefits our health in numerous ways. Running is excellent for endurance and works wonders as a cardio workout. As an outdoor activity, running benefits include getting that much-needed vitamin D boost from the sun. Thus, it’s not surprising that running events and marathons are gaining popularity. In fact, in 2018, RUNNING USA recorded a total of 18.1 million registrants in competitive road races across the country.
From the big city marathons in Boston and New York to themed 5Ks and fun runs, there is no shortage of running events to choose from. Are you up for the adrenaline-inducing horror of Zombie Run? How about a runner’s high from the Color Run? Or, maybe a simple jog around your neighborhood will suffice? No matter your preference, running is, undoubtedly, the simplest and most straightforward activity anyone can do for their health. All you need is a pair of good running shoes—and perhaps a running buddy—and you’re ready to go.
Still Not Convinced?
Well, here’s a rundown of other running benefits to help you kick-start your health goals.
- Strength is one of the benefits one can get from running. Running works the core muscles and helps define the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Through running, stability—starting from the core, down to the hips, knees, and ankles—is built. All you need is just 30 to 45 minutes of it every day.
- Manage weight and lose calories through running. Running burns calories in two ways. First, running increases metabolism, thus helping in expending calories. Second, running burns calories long after you are done running. The caloric burn is so intense that for just an hour of jogging, a 140-pound person can burn as much as 700 calories. Maximize running benefits and consume more energy by running your fastest.
- Running makes the bones and joints more resilient through stress and impact. All that pounding every time your feet hit the pavement causes bones and cartilage to spring back stronger. Just be sure to do some stretching before running. Stretching warms up the joints and muscles for mobility and flexibility.
- We have to add better sleep to this list. Running and other forms of exercise increase the production of sleep hormones—adenosine and melatonin. With increased levels of sleep hormones, it is easier to fall asleep. Length and quality of sleep have also shown improvement with increased physical activity.
- Running benefits our mental state by rewiring the brain to handle stress better. How? Running and other forms of exercise promote the development of new neurons in the brain. With more young neurons, stress responses are not easily activated. Moreover, physical activities trigger the release of endorphins, which is beneficial in staving off depression symptoms and other mood disorders.
- Running makes you more attractive. Being in tip-top shape is a surefire way to boost confidence. With confidence, nothing can stop you from achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself. With a positive attitude, healthy physique and confidence—these traits can make someone truly attractive.
- Prevent premature aging through running. A research conducted by the European Heart Journal noted the impact of running and high-intensity training on our body’s ability to slow down the aging process. Active individuals were observed to have more telomerase, which is the enzyme that helps replenish chromosomes against premature aging.
Hit the Ground Running Today!
When it comes to our health, our choices should be based upon our specific needs. However, running proposes an advantage. Running can serve as a starting point for almost any exercise regimen. Running benefits anyone who wants to take one step closer to a more active lifestyle. So, get off that couch and start running toward a healthier you.