We all know that exercise plays an important role in our health. Of all forms of exercise, running is perhaps one of the most popular and recommended exercises for improving our health and staying in shape.
People run for various reasons. Some start running to compete in races, improve their health, lose weight or try something different. Whatever your reasons for running, you will experience so many benefits from the activity. Here are some great health benefits of running:
1. Cardiovascular health
When you run on a regular basis, your cardiovascular health improves. Your arteries will become more elastic and your blood pressure will be lowered. Both of these can help to lower your risk of suffering a heart attack.
2. Weight loss
Running helps to burn a considerable amount of calories, which makes it a great form of exercise for weight loss. However, you should know that running is a high-impact exercise that can cause your hip and leg joints to ache if you’re a bit overweight. In that case, you’ll need to start slowly when running.
When you run often you’ll actually eat more because you burn more calories. You’ll also most often be hungrier and develop a healthier, better appetite. Regular running is also beneficial for digestion.
4. Bone density
Running will help boost your bone density, particularly in your legs, hips and back. Apart from strong bones, it’ll also make your muscles stronger. Instead of being bulky, they’ll be stronger. Running also reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis.
5. Slows down aging
Running often will help strengthen your muscle and bone structure. Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle suffer muscle loss and have a weaker skeleton, making them more prone to various diseases. Having strong muscles and bones can help slow down aging and improve your looks.
Running regularly also helps you have better sleep as staying healthy promotes better sleep. Also make sure you get enough sleep before you start running. Not getting adequate rest could lead to over-training.
Running 5 days per week for about half an hour each time can help decrease your risk of developing different kinds of cancer. These forms of cancers may include breast, uterine and bowel cancer.
If you run for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week, you’ll reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. You should also control your carbohydrate and sugar intake.
Running is also good for your mental health. Your physical self-perception increases and you feel much better about yourself. This can help relieve your depression and better your mood.
If you’re usually tired, running can be a good solution. It can help to increase your energy levels and, of course, make you healthier. In fact, running itself pumps your blood which wakes you up.
Running also makes your lungs stronger. If you’re usually out of breath after some flights of stairs, you’ll find that running regularly strengthens your lungs and you won’t get out of breath when you take more flights.
These were some wonderful health benefits of running. Whether you decide to run to make friends, for health reasons or just to feel good, running is great. With all these benefits, there’s no reason why you should not run.
Published for Alan Michaels, a free-lance writer from North Carolina who has a passion for healthy living, running, and rock climbing.