21 Jul Run For The Health Of It
When you mention the word “running” you’ll get one of two reactions from people: they either tell you they are in to running, or they tell you “I just can’t run”. But even the best of runners had to start somewhere. If you want to get more fit then running is the best way to obtain that as there is no other fitness like “running fitness”. If you’re still not convinced that you should take up running here are some of the benefits to running fitness:
1) Burning Calories: Running would be one of the top activities for burning more calories per minute than other forms of exercise. Running is effective in assisting with weight loss as well as helping to maintain a healthy weight.
2) Increased Health: We are becoming a more sedentary race both in the workplace as well as in our home life. Many of our “activities” at home often find us not moving: television, computer, electronic games, even if you like to just sit and read…we aren’t raising our heart rate. Running burns more calories (as we said in point one) because it raises your heart rate. In doing so you’re working your heart, which is a muscle, building strength and making it run more efficiently. As your heart muscle gets stronger it pumps more volume of blood with each beat, thereby lowering your resting heart rate (less beats to get the job done). Another term for this is that is lowers your blood pressure, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease. Also, because your heart rate increases during running, your arteries expand and contract nearly three times more than at rest, thereby increasing the elasticity of your arteries. Again, this adds to a reduced risk of heart disease.
The topic of running as a health benefit is a big topic as running also has been said to reduce the risk of certain cancers (colon cancer and breast cancer to name a couple). It’s also been prescribed as a treatment for people with the onset of osteoporosis and diabetes. In addition it can reduce the risk of blood clots and can boost your immune system. Running contributes to an increase in good cholesterol and assists in increasing lung function.
3) Eliminate Depression and Increase Mental Health: When you run your body secretes hormones and endorphins that can positively affect your mood. I’m not suggesting that all depression can be cured by running, but a great deal of it can. In addition, running instils confidence as you will feel a sense of accomplishment having overcome the mind which says “I don’t feel like going for a run”. Each time you counter that mindset with a run, you strengthen your will and drive, which can flow over in to other areas of your life. I hear this a lot from the people I train.
4) Reduce Stress: Running reduces stress and the negative effects of stress. Things like sleeplessness, tension headaches and mood swings will diminish when the excess energy and hormones are worked off through running.
5) Increase Muscle Tone and Bone Density: As with strength training, running strengthens the muscles in your lower body and the bones are made to work with the demands made on them causing them to be stronger as well. In addition to helping stave off the ageing of the muscles and bones inside your body, running promotes the production of the human growth hormone which is often used as an anti-aging treatment.
Hopefully by reading these benefits (and I have not listed all the benefits) of running you might just be thinking about taking it up as a regular means of exercise. My next article will give you some tips to getting started in your running routine.