Apr 22, 2013

The Benefits of Running

Reasons To Run / Benefits Of Running
Image Source:  Sura Nualpradid / freedigitalphotos.net

I am and have always been a runner.  I love it.

If you are looking to get fit or lose weight then I honestly think running is a great way to do both these things.  

I decided to do a one or two posts on running because most people have given it a try at some stage or another, but not everyone keeps it up.  I really believe that there are few basic principles to running that can make the experience much more enjoyable.  In another post I will discuss how to get started and some training principles, but today I just want to get you motivated so I thought I'd share a few reasons why running is so beneficial.

1.  Improved energy levels 

The fitter you are, the more energy you will have for your day to day activities. 

2.  It's free.

Well apart from the cost of a pair of running shoes and maybe a running app.

3.  It is a highly efficient way to burn calories.

You are moving many muscles throughout your entire body, all at once.  Intense running will burn calories much quicker than equipment you can find at your local gym.

4.   Improved mental health.  

Endorphins that are released during running will improve your mood, help you relax and will help relieve stress.

5. Decreased risk of serious illness.  

Regular running can dramatically decrease your risk of developing cancers (in particular breast and uterine cancer - according to one American study), and will help prevent heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  Not only that, but it has been shown to lower blood pressure and raise good cholesterol.

6. Prevention of colds and the flu.

 Running can increase your body's natural immunity.

7.  Maintain your skeletal and muscular strength.

If we are sedentary, our bones and muscles grow weaker.  Placing regular physical demands on your body helps promote oxygen flow to your muscles and joints, will help strengthen our skeleton and prevent diseases like osteoarthritis later in life.

8.  Improved self-confidence.   

Well not directly, but feeling fit, toned, strong and healthy definitely wouldn't hurt your self-confidence.

9.  Meet new friends. 

There are lots of running groups and clubs that cater for all ages.  If you find that you enjoy it and are running regularly, why not sign up?

10.  Allows you to have some 'me-time'.

Running outdoors allows you to be out in the fresh air, gives you time to appreciate nature and take notice of the world around you.  It also gives you time to think, and perhaps gain a new perspective on things.  Sometimes when I'm running, all I am doing is concentrating on my breathing and my pace, it is almost a form of meditation and leaves me feeling so refreshed and clear-minded.

So these are just a few of the many reasons why you should think about picking up those running shoes.  Have I motivated you?  I hope so! 

Now you're ready for:  Running: Tips for beginners which is the next post in the series.