Running is one of the best ways to get in shape. When you run, you build cardiovascular endurance and enhance your health in many other ways. Running benefits the mind and body alike. When people put time into running and exercising regularly, they will see amazing changes in their bodies. Carl Guidice, a physical fitness expert, and avid runner lists the top 7 reasons why everyone should think about adding running to their fitness routine.
Running is Good for the Mind
When people engage in any aerobic exercise like running, their bodies produce endorphins which help them overcome feelings of sadness and hopelessness. The “runner’s high” can even help people who are suffering from a major depressive disorder. Walking vigorously for 30 minutes provides the same mental benefits as running for the same amount of time.
People who run regularly know that running brings on a calm feeling and helps people organize their thoughts. For many people, the meditative quality of running is their favorite aspect of the sport. Many people feel more creative after a long run. It may be a good way to work out some difficult thoughts and emotions.
Running Controls Body Weight
Many serious health conditions are associated with obesity. High blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer can result from an unhealthy lifestyle. When you want to do something about your overall physical health, running is a great way to change your body for the better.
Running burns significantly more calories than other forms of exercise. When running a 12-minute mile, a person who weighs 160 pounds will be able to burn 600 calories in an hour. Even when people run for a shorter period of time, the benefits of running add up quickly.
Running Can Extend Your Life
When people engage in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise regularly, they are much less likely to die from any physical cause. According to scientists from the Cooper Institute in Dallas, exercise can add three years to your life. Even running for just 5 to 10 minutes a day can produce some life-extending results.
Running Builds Bone and Joint Health
Forms of weight-bearing exercise like running have been shown to improve bone health. Many people may believe that running is damaging to the joints, but it has been shown to strengthen the knees. When people experience joint problems due to running, it is often due to a lack of proper form or a loss of flexibility.
Running Makes the Brain Better Able to Cope with Stress
In a study published in Clinical Psychology Review, the link between running and better mental health is quantified. Physical exercise allows the mind to deal better with stress. This may happen because exercise boosts levels of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin. It also helps the brain grow more neurons.
Running Keeps Your Mind Sharp
A 2012 study in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review found that exercise helps to deal with the mental decline that comes with increasing age. Older people experience better selective attention, working memory, and task switching when they exercise regularly. When older adults exercise, they perform better on mental tests. Even stroke patients enjoy significant benefits from exercise, improving their judgement, memory, thinking, and language.
Running Builds Core Flexibility and Leg Strength
Running is unique among exercises in that it builds amazing levels of strength in the leg muscles. It also helps people have better flexibility. Running leads to more stable hips, meaning that people have better endurance when performing ordinary tasks.
Enjoy the Benefits of Running
One of the best reasons to run is that it is an easy sport to try and is inexpensive. A good pair of running shoes and proper clothing are all you need to get started. It can be tried by people of all fitness levels. As long as you are careful with your form and with stretching properly, you should not have any serious joint problems to deal with.
Carl Guidice encourages all people, especially older adults, to give running a try. Many of these benefits can be gained with brief runs of 15 to 30 minutes three times a week. It is easy to make room for running in even the busiest schedule.