Running is one of the easiest and most accessible types of physical activity. Professional athletes and beginners, children and adults, those who are “on mass” and those who are “lean” – in general, all of them. In this piece, we’ve compiled 10 reasons for you to put on your running shoes and go for a run right now. Read on and let’s go for a run!
Many people use running only as cardio or as a warm-up before strength training, not fully realizing how many benefits a regular running workout has. Running should not be underestimated! Here are just some of the benefits of running:
1. Strengthening your immune system
If you often suffer from colds, running will be your best friend. Running outdoors (and even in cooler weather) will harden your body and make it more resistant to germs and viruses. Regular exercise, especially running, strengthens your physical condition and improves your mood. Yes, yes, your immune system depends a lot on your mood and thoughts.
Runners get sick less – a proven fact. The most important thing is to exercise responsibly so that you don’t “overexert yourself,” and to dress for the weather when you run outdoors.
2. Improving circulation
Regular exercise of running improves the cardiovascular system, which is the prevention of heart disease. Running intensifies (saturates) the tissues with oxygen, and this is a great help to the blood circulation. Thanks to such cardio exercise, the heart muscles gain strength and endurance, the vascular walls are strengthened, and their tone increases. This in turn leads to stabilization of blood pressure – and it does not matter if you have high or low blood pressure.
3. The cure for depression
The endorphin, the hormone of joy, is produced during a run and this effect lasts not only during the workout but also afterwards. Psychologists say that regular exercise makes a person less irritable and helps to get rid of insomnia.
Running, of course, is already emotionally charged. But you can help yourself get even more enjoyment out of the process. Make a playlist with your favorite exercise music. Make a habit of going out on weekends to run in the countryside – in the woods or by the river / lake, in general, where it is beautiful. Look around, listen to birds singing, chirping of insects, splashing of water, observe your sensations in the body. It is not without reason they say that running is a great way to meditate.
Also, try running in company – with a close friend, with your family or with a running team. Getting together to run, talk, joke, and unwind in the fresh air is great for depression and anxiety. You get away from bad thoughts and feel a boost of energy, an unprecedented lift. A kind of reset.
4. Strengthening the joints
There is an opinion that running “kills” the knees, but in fact this is not true. On the contrary, regular running strengthens the joints – of course, if you run correctly and gradually increase the load.
It’s also important to understand that joint health directly depends on how strong and trained are the muscles and tendons that form the “corsets” for the joints. It is not enough just to run, you must also regularly do strength exercises for all muscle groups and special running exercises; at the beginning of training is necessary to warm up, and after the load – stretching.
5. Fat burning
Running will help you lose weight, but you need to understand how it works. During and after running, an active process of lipolysis – the breakdown of fat cells – is triggered. Under conditions of cardio exercise, the body begins to use up its “rainy-day reserves”, but it does not do it immediately. The first 40 minutes of running our body works on carbohydrates (e.g. glycogen – a complex carbohydrate that is stored in the cells of the liver and muscles). And only after that stretch of time does the transition to the fat-burning stage take place.
So, if you want to lose weight or lose weight, it is definitely worth it to start running – but such a workout should last at least 50 minutes. And, of course, the magic effect depends on the frequency and regularity of training. The more – the better.
6. Increased Concentration
It’s proven that people who run can concentrate more quickly and effectively on a task and have increased attention span. Running also improves memory!
Many runners say that running is a reboot for them. Acknowledged! If you run in the morning, you wake up, find your energy and clarity of thought, and you still have the whole day ahead – so much to do! When you work out in the evening, even if you’re very tired after a day at work, go for a run. Bad mood? Go for a workout right away! You’ll come back with a smile, and you’ll gain strength. See for yourself – it really works.
7. Strengthening the respiratory system
Your lungs work hard during a run, saturating your body with the oxygen it needs. Regular running will make your lungs stronger and increase their lung capacity.
And if you run for a long time, your lung capacity increases even more due to the training of the muscles responsible for breathing.
8. Improvement of endurance
It’s no secret that running builds endurance. With each run, your body will push its limits and become more prepared for cardio. This means your heart and lungs will work better, and you’ll become stronger and fitter – and a better quality of life itself.
Try different types of running to increase your endurance: marathons and ultramarathons, asphalt or mountain running, tempo running. The harder the distance, the more effort you put in, the better your endurance will be.
9. Muscle Strengthening
Running engages almost all (that’s over 600!) of a person’s muscles. This means that in a running workout you not only work your legs, but also your back, abs and even arms. By the way, you have to learn how to work the arms properly, so that the back strengthens, and not suffers. The coach can tell you how to move your arms, and quite a few video lessons are devoted to this topic.
On top of that, the muscles when running stretch and become more elastic. Not an exercise, but an athlete’s dream! However, it is still necessary to stretch after a running load – the muscles are “hammered” by the loads, they need help.
10. A boost of vigor
Running is a great way to “recharge” your body with energy before an important event or at the beginning of the day. During running, metabolism is accelerated, tissues are saturated with oxygen, which means our body processes are more efficient.
And another bonus: you don’t need any special equipment to go running. So put on your running shoes and go!
How to start running if I’m…
…bored/cold/difficult/lazy/where to go?
Of course, there are objective reasons when it’s better not to run – such as injuries or serious illnesses (such as thrombosis). But in the vast majority of cases, running will only do you good: the main thing is not to start immediately with the conquest of a marathon. Run small distances first and gradually increase the distance – over time, you will notice that you run easier and easier, and your body becomes stronger, more resilient and, most importantly, healthier.
Contrary to stereotypes, you can also run in the winter. The time issue is much easier to solve than you think: the trick is that you’ll never have enough time, because there are only 24 hours in a day. But it’s worth thinking about what in your daily schedule can be shifted or optimized to allow at least 30 minutes for yourself. Yes, that’s right: not for running, but for yourself. After all, such a seemingly simple workout can actually do you a lot of good.
If you lack the motivation to go out for a run, various workout apps can help you. So that leaves the hard part: getting over yourself and getting started!
To add some extra motivation, sign up for the Wings For Life World Run, a charity run where participants from all over the world run on May 9 on the same day and at the same time for a common good cause – finding cures for spinal cord injuries.