Why Is Running Good for You?

Since pampering myself with a new pair of running shoes, my life has not been the same. My running habit started with an invite from my neighbor one summer day, asking me to run a few blocks. Today I celebrate one solid year of running and my first 5k victory! The first days were a nightmare, as my body wasn’t accustomed to such intense physical activity. But now, running has become part of my life. I have even committed to keeping a daily log of my progress. While I’m enjoying all the rewards that come with jogging, many may be wondering, “why is running good for you?”

You may associate running with sweating and gasping for breath. But running is more complex than what we momentarily see with our eyes. In addition to keeping you more physically fit, hitting the pavement is also good for your mental and emotional wellbeing. By joining running clubs, you can also improve your social life. In this article, we’ll look into the major benefits and the reasons to run every day.

Running Improves Physical Health

It’s impossible to mention running and not include health in the same sentence. Running can offer multiple benefits to improve your overall health. Research studies show that running can increase levels of good cholesterol, improve lung function, boost the immune system, and lower the risk of some cancers, strokes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Running also creates a positive boost in blood circulation, through an increase in your heart rate during exercise. If you regularly run and feel your heart rate is too high, you can learn more about lowering your heart rate while running here.

Research has also shown that when undertaking a regular running program, the heart can better distribute nutrients and oxygen around your brain, skin, and organs, ensuring that everything is in optimum shape. Running also aids the arteries in retaining elasticity, thereby strengthening the heart. You can also strengthen your quads, calves, hips, abs, and bones through running. Another benefit, though one less known, is that running is healthy for the eyes, as it can lessen the risk of eye cataracts.

Running Improves Mental, Psychological, And Social Health

We cannot deny that running is a great excuse to get away from daily pressures and never-ending to-do lists. Plus a regular running habit significantly improves your sleep quality as well as your concentration; running has also been linked to elevate mood through the increase in positive neurotransmitters. When you properly engage your muscles, your brain releases endorphins and other feel-good chemicals that boost your mood. Endorphins work as a stress reliever that raises self-esteem and relaxes the mind.

Running is meditative, allowing you to become focused on the present moment, with each step. The focus you need when running distracts you from worries, and the physical exertion will release pent-up frustration. Running brings fresh air to the lungs and improves brain function. Many avid runners experience a sense of joy and elation, along with an elevated sense of a stronger mind-body connection after each run. 

Running For Weight Management

Many people become anxious whenever there’s talk of weight loss. Losing weight isn’t an easy task!  Commonly known as a fat burner, running is a popular way to shed off those extra kilos, since running decreases bad cholesterol levels and burns extra calories, which typically translates to weight loss. Just remember, if you are interested in losing weight through running, concentrate on running for both speed and distance. It’s also important to incorporate a proper diet and engage in other physical activities, such as swimming, tennis, or yoga to boost your progress.

Bottom Line

Are you ready to lace up your shoes and start running? There is definitely something about running that boosts confidence and self-esteem. I credit it to goal achievement as it gives you a sense of completion every time you finish a run, that leaves you feeling victorious. By starting your day right with a jog, the body, mind, and soul are synced into one. It improves your focus and helps you become more goal-oriented about other daily challenges.

Here’s my best advice: watch what you eat, stay hydrated, and train slowly at first, building to a strong, regular practice. Invest in a good pair of running shoes and, if you need extra support, get medical inserts for them. Find someone to run with, so keep you accountable on the days you don’t feel motivated. Most importantly, get your doctor’s approval before you go from the couch life to embracing a regular running practice. You don’t want to shock your body into this new lifestyle.

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