Looking for a fitness program that’s affordable, simple and can incredibly get your body and brain in its best shape? If yes, then running is for you. According to running coach Meghan Kennihan, running not only helps you achieve a tip-top shape but also helps improve your heart and lung health, blood pressure, joint strength, muscular endurance, and helps control your weight.
When you run, you just don’t go out there and run. You need to know the basics. As a beginner, you may want to start with jogging. Jogging is a slow pace running, which is no more than 10 kilometers per hour. Jogging is for people who want to run but don’t like to compete. At least two times a week of jogging will still provide you with health benefits.
When you run more than 6 miles per hour, it’s already considered distance running. Distance running helps greatly with your cardiovascular health and mental prowess. This is achievable by people who have run for quite some time.
Sprinting is the third type of running that is comparable to weightlifting exercises. This helps improve your speed, running efficiency, muscular endurance, and resistance to fatigue.
Like any other exercise, running can come with a risk to injuries if you don’t follow the principles that apply to physical exercises. To reduce injuries, you should perform some stretches and warm-up exercises before running. Cooling down exercises are also needed after each run.
When running in an uneven terrain, you should take extra precautions to avoid having a sprained ankle or obtain other injuries. Recovery is also a priority when you run. If you think running is for you, you will reap the following benefits once you go out there and hit the pavement.
It requires less effort
Running can help you achieve your fitness goals with minimal effort. You just have to put on your running shoes and head at the door anytime. You can do it either in the morning or in the late afternoon. You can run around the block, up to a hill, a mountain, or along a trail. You can also do it alone or with an interesting companion.
Running requires no membership fee. All you need is a pair of comfortable running shoes and comfortable clothes.
It improves heart health
Running helps improve your circulation, which ultimately keeps your heart healthy. Even a jog lasting for 10 minutes a day is enough to reduce your risk of mortality and death from causes related to cardiovascular problems.
It requires no special skills
Running doesn’t require you to be flexible or strong enough. Regardless of your age and skills, you can start running anytime you want to.
It helps control your weight
If you aim to lose fat much quicker, running got your back. The faster you run, the more calories you will burn. Even if you’re a beginner, you will still lose fat at a steady pace. And if you want to lose more, you only have to increase your pace and mileage.
It helps strengthens your joints
No, you won’t hurt your joints when you run. On the contrary, using your joints more will increase its strength. When you run, your knees, ankles, and hips will go through a cycle of compression and expansion, which ultimately strengthens your ligaments and cartilages.
It helps enhance your mental capacity
Running also works wonders on your mental health. One study showed an increased vigor and less fatigue in runners who spent 25 minutes on a treadmill. Additionally, research revealed a positive link between old age and running. Older runners were found to be more mentally sharp and have better cognitive functions than the elderly folks who didn’t run.
It gives your mood a boost
Running influences your brain’s feel-good hormones like the serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that boosts your mood and helps beat depression. Dopamine regulates your reward-driven behavior. Once you achieve a specific running milestone, you’ll feel more motivated to run. Endorphins are your body’s natural pain killers and are produced when you’re physically active. When you have enough supply of this morphine-like substance, your stress levels will naturally decrease.
It helps with your bone health
Since running puts stress on your bones, the process helps it become denser and stronger. Running even outweighs other weight-bearing exercises when it comes to building strong bones.
It helps strengthen legs and increases core stability
Because you’re using your legs more while running, it helps define your calves and hamstrings. On the other hand, running engages your core muscles and stabilizes your hips, leading to more balance and stability.
It’s an athlete’s tool
Running is a helpful tool for every athlete, from boxing to football to basketball. Basically, running is a good exercise to help athletes improve their stamina, speed, and endurance.
It doesn’t follow a strict routine
With running, you won’t experience any boredom that some fitness enthusiasts go through due to routine work. You can incorporate variety in your running scheme. You can choose which way to go on a particular day, whether you’d follow a hilly area or a forest trail. If you want to see more people, you can choose to run around the park or around your block.
It gives you runner’s high
You might have already heard about runner’s high. It’s the kind of high you get after running. And it’s not just some kind of a rumor. Research gave us some proof by saying that our brains pump out cannabis-like molecules known as endocannabinoids, which boosts a runner’s happiness levels.
It helps you to live longer
According to a study, there’s a strong link between running and longevity. An estimate of 85% mortality rate was found in runners compared to nonrunners.
It provides you more energy
Running regulates your adrenaline hormone, the neurotransmitter that gives you a surge of energy during fearful, exciting, and dangerous situations. You will naturally get this adrenaline rush while running, which increases your heart rate and makes you feel more alive.
It helps you get a dose of vitamin D
Sunshine provides you with natural D vitamins. Unlike gym workouts where you’re limited inside a building, outdoor activities like running or jogging allow you to get a sufficient amount of sun exposure. Vitamin D is essential in keeping depression at bay and also in strengthening your bones.
Running is easy to learn, does not require a specific age or a workout mentor, and packs lots of benefits from the physical to the emotional to the mental. You name it, running almost have it all. You only have to start slow and steady until you acquire the necessary form and strength needed for more intense running goals.