Now then, running isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. Some find long runs tedious and boring, where as others achieve some what of a ‘runners high’ and can simply run for hours. Whatever your situation, here are 7 reasons why you should be running:
1. The Feel Good Factor.
All physical exercise releases the hormone ‘serotonin’ into the body. Meaning that all exercise makes us feel good to some extent. What’s even better is that countless studies have shown that running reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Like most physical exercise, it helps to make you feel better in the short and long-term.
In addition research has found that the chemical substances released that causes the famous ‘Runners high’ are In fact the same stuff found in marijuana. Fancy getting high? Go on a run!
2. Stronger Bones.
All ‘weight bearing exercise’ promotes stronger bones, this decreases the chance of broken bones, weaker bones in later life and diseases such as osteoporosis. In addition running builds stronger knees. Next time someone says that running is bad for your knees simply show them this: according to Boston University’s David Felson, regular running actually improves knee health. It also strengthens bones (as we know) and joints.
3. Running is basically free.
The concept of running is completely free. In fact it is the most widely available physical activity on the planet. Anyone can run, and all you need is a pair of decent running trainers. In fact if you’re hard-core enough you can go all pre-historic and run bare foot. If you’re really into your running, then yes; you may get an expensive pair of running shoes, and pay to participate in numerous events. The point is that running is not expensive to do, and with all the benefits it provides, why wouldn’t you?
4. Better Immune System.
Your immune system is basically what fights off infections, and prevents you from getting ill. Simple right? The good news is that research proves that running for up to an hour at a moderate intensity fortifies your immune system, by accelerating the circulation of protective cells.
5. Healthier Heart.
Long term adaptations of Cardio on the cardiovascular system include cardiac hypertrophy (Bigger, Stronger Heart) this allows for us to train harder for longer, reduces the risk of a heart attack, high blood pressure and strokes. In fact, running for just an hour each week can lower the risk of heart disease by almost 50%. You wouldn’t skip chest day right? So don’t skip heart day…
6. Better Sleep.
Everyone loves sleep, and sleep is a very important factor in a healthy lifestyle. Luckily for us, studies show that runners find it easier to get to sleep at night and sleep for longer. It’s a no brainer!
7. Improves Appearance (And Does NOT Kill Your ‘Gains’).
What you look like is important. And whether you admit it or not, the main reason you workout is probably to look better, right? Regular running (as well as most other forms of exercise) will allow you to look slimmer, healthier and more toned.
However one of the most common misconceptions is that cardio as a whole ‘Makes you loose gains’ especially running. Well I hate to Burst you bubble, but what a load of bulls**t. Muscle is not some magical thing that disappears as soon as you break a sweat. Muscle tissue will only breakdown during intense cardio if your body is not fuelled properly. Otherwise your ‘Gains’ will be unharmed. I assure you!
8. Getting Involved In The Community.
Most communities/Societies have a respectable running presence. Whether that is a running club or local Parkrun. Besides getting fit, running allows us to connect with others, meet new people and creates new opportunities. What’s not to love?
In conclusion running is packed full of benefits and reasons to get started. It is completely free (Unless you need running shoes), widely available and keeps us fit and healthy. Running allows us to look better, and get involved with the community through running clubs or your local parkrun. (The chances are you have a parkrun in your town. If not, why not set one up?) Not started running yet? What are you waiting for?