Even though running is probably the oldest exercise on the planet there are always fresh new benefits that we keep discovering. Check out some cool benefits to the exercise that refuses to quit:
RUN AND BE HEALTHY
Ever see those runners with a big smile on their face and you wonder? They are experiencing Runner’s High! When Running your body releases endorphins that can cause euphoria (runner’s high) or just an overall sense of happiness. Running has been used for years to treat clinical depression and various addictions. Less tension, less depression, less fatigue, and less confusion are just a few of the changes that patients have seen after beginning a regular running program.
It’s an exercise that when done right can bring lots of new confidence in your life. Whether you are running that extra mile or getting faster, running is a sport that shows you results pretty quickly. Knowing that your body is strong and capable of getting strong and faster everyday gives you a sense of empowerment.
YOUR HEART LOVES IT
No other exercise pumps your heart the way running does. In a research study done by the VA Medical Center and The Medical College of Wisconsin shows that riding a stationary bike, using the treadmill, or the stair-stepper all burn calories less than running. This result shows the blood being pumped from your legs to the heart really gets the heart going making your heart stronger.
RUNNING DOESN’T RUIN YOUR JOINTS
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It happens when joint cushioning cartilage begin to wear down. Next to age the biggest risk factor of osteoarthritis is weight. The heavier you are the more prone you are to develop this type of arthritis. One of the biggest benefits to running is weight loss and control. Start running because your knees will thank you!
RUNNING FOR YOUR LIFE… LITERALLY!
In perhaps the most surprising study done on the health benefits of running, a team at the Stanford University School of Medicine studied 538 runners and 423 healthy non-runners from 1984 until 2005. All of the subjects were over 50 and were asked to take a disability questionnaire each year measuring simple tasks like cutting meat, shampooing hair, and opening a milk carton. Every year, the disability levels were significantly lower in the group of runners than in the non-runners, and they became more different as both groups aged.
Even more interesting (though admittedly morbid) is at the end of the study, 85 percent of the runners were still alive, while only 66 percent of the non-runners were. We didn’t name the website Running 4 Your Life for nothing!!
Having trouble sleeping? Than start running! Running helps promote good sleep, as your body gets tired and you will be able to enjoy a night of deep, undisturbed sleep. Try doing it in the evening after dinner to burn off those evening calories and your body will be ready for slumber.
THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
Running helps, you look younger, not only by providing healthy bones but also by giving you healthy and glowing complexions. Running helps to lower down the risk of age related problems and gives you a strong body structure.
One of the biggest trends that are actually beneficial is weight loss. People are tired of looking themselves in the mirror and not being happy with their physical appearance. Whether you are obese or just want to lose that last ten pounds, or even if you just want to stay at the weight you are at it’s the best way to trim yourself down. Running is one of the top activities for burning fat. In fact, with the exception of cross country skiing, running burns more calories per minute than any other form of cardiovascular exercise.
Feeling strong and setting goals for yourself as a runner encourages you to take the best possible care of your body. When you eat fat-laden foods, full of sugar and preservatives, you don’t run your best. On the flip side, when you eat meals rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, you have the energy you need to run well.
NO MORE STRESS
Running promotes production of neurohormones like norepinephrine that are associated with improved cognitive function, elevated mood and learning. And that can improve thinking dulled by stressful events. Other chemicals like dopamine and serotonin are also released in the brain during running. Together, these give a feeling of safety and security that contributes to off-setting some of the “internal” causes of stress, such as uncertainty, pessimism and negative self-talk.