Running is the most accessible and convenient exercise to keep fit, stay healthy and lose weight. However, many people may not know the benefits of running to your body and health.
People of any gender, all ages and fitness level can run without any special knowledge or technical skill involved; you can wear your shoes and start running now.
If you are feeling lazy like sloth and thinking on skipping your runs, you should think about these awesome benefits of running to help you get started.
After all, the hardest part of running is the first step out of your door.
Here are 8 awesome benefits of running:
1. Significantly Improve Your Physical & Mental Health
Of course any exercise you do will improve your physical and mental health, but what you are doing? Chilling on your couch and watching Netflix.
Running is one of the simplest and easiest way for you to improve your physical and mental health.
Running helps you to burn stubborn fats, trim your waistline, improve your physique, but that’s not what keeps you running.
The reason why you keep running is because it helps you to stay positive, be more confident and have a greater sense of wellbeing which contributes to a better mental health.
2. Helps You Lose & Maintain Weight
However, people with joints problem (knee pain) may not be able to run.
If you aren’t sure on how to begin your running and weight loss journey, here’s a free 8-weeks training plan to get you started:
3. Improve Cardiovascular Fitness
There are times you feel exhausted after climbing a flight of stairs or feeling really tired 5 mins into exercising.
This happens because you are not fit and it pushes your heart and lungs beyond its usual capacity to pump oxygenated blood throughout your body.
Sounds daunting to exercise? Don’t be!
Running is a great exercise to help you improve your cardiovascular fitness.
When you start running, you may not even be able to run non-stop for 10 mins, regardless of speed.
As you get fitter, you will realise you can even run non-stop up to 10k, of course it takes months of training before you can achieve it.
To really give a boost to your cardio even without leaving your home, you can try stairs running instead.
4. Improve Muscle Strength
As running is a high-impact exercise, it is a good way to improve muscle strength to a certain extent – even more with uphill running.
With every running stride, your body is absorbing a huge amount of shock and stress.
Over time, your muscles become stronger once it adapts to the stress, shock and pressure of running.
Running mainly builds and improve muscles in the lower body such as your booty (glutes), quads and hamstrings.
If your goal is to build and improve muscles, you should fuel yourself with extra carbohydrates and protein before and after workout.
5. Helps Build Stronger Bones & Joints
According to Wolff’s law, your bones will adapt based on the stress or demands placed on them. When you work your muscles, they put stress on your bones. In response, your bone tissue remodels and becomes stronger.
Running is a high-impact exercise and is a great way to build stronger bones and joints.
But, please, don’t overdo it.
You can train hard and run a lot, but make sure you also allow sufficient rest and recovery between hard sessions to prevent injuries.
6. Running Relieves Stress
You are feeling stressed out? Work stress? Study stress? Others factors perhaps?
When your body is stressed, your brain releases a hormone called cortisol, which is a stress-hormone and chronic stress puts your health at risk.
Usually what happens when you are stressed out?
You crave high-calories food, you eat a lot and gain weight.
When you gain weight, what happens?
You become even more stressed out and the vicious cycle keeps repeating and you keep gaining weight.
Running helps your body to release endorphins, i.e., the feel-good hormone. Running also slows the secretion of stress-hormones.
Don’t be lazy, go for a run if you are stressed out.
You will feel the difference.
7. Greater Sense of Wellbeing
Wellbeing is the sense of happiness, good mental and physical health and prosperity.
It also means you have good life satisfaction, purpose in life and the ability to manage your stress levels.
When you run, your brain will produce happy and good hormones to help you feel a greater sense of wellbeing.
Once you start running, you will one way or another experience the runner’s high. Runner’s high is the sense of euphoria after completing your runs.
Euphoria is the sense of extreme joy and happiness.
Runner’s high can be quite addictive, that’s why you see most avid runners always run without fail.
8. Lowers the Risk of Cancer
Running at least once a week regardless of intensity of volume is better than nothing and it substantially reduces the risk of cancer.
After all, running is a physical activity that helps your body keep moving and not remain sedentary.
Sedentary lifestyle is the cause of many potential cancer and health problems.
So, get your butt off the couch and start running!
You don’t need to run like a mad person to reap the benefits of running, as long you run is better than nothing.
Can You Run Everyday?
Whether you can run everyday or not depends on a variety of factors such as the intensity, running volume and your fitness level.
You can run everyday at low-intensity (slow jogging) up to the distance you are still comfortable running.
However, I don’t recommend anyone to run everyday.
Running 3-4 times a week is more than enough to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
There are people who run everyday because they are addicted to the runner’s high.
There’s no harm in taking a day or two off running each week to allow your body to repair and recover sufficiently before the next running session.
Here’s a free 8-weeks training plan to get you started: