There are dozens upon dozens of medical studies that all confirm the same – exercising is plain good for your health. It helps your heart stay in shape and young, it elevates your levels of energy, enhances your mood and so much more. Now, there are plenty of ways for one to get a good sweat from yoga, Pilates and numerous other new forms of exercise. Still, the old and faithful running has for a very long time been a favorite. It’s simple, you don’t require any particular equipment. It’s just you, a good running track, music and the benefits of running.
Now, the general rule of thumb is that any form of exercise is beneficial, but we’re here to shed more light on benefits of running. Who knows, perhaps by the end of the article you’ll be putting on your running shoes and heading out!
Benefits of running for your life
A recent study published by Mayo Clinic Proceedings claims that one of the benefits of running is that you can actually manage to prolong your life by running. Namely, it takes six miles, which is approximately 52 minutes of your time weekly and you could add anywhere from three to six years to your life. The study “included at least 500 runners and 5-year follow-up so as to analyze the relationship between vigorous aerobic physical activity, specifically running, and major health consequences”. The results include, among other things, the optimal weekly running dose, as there apparently can be too much of a good thing, so run for your life, but in moderation. If you are not training for a marathon, I suggest running no more than 3 times a week.
Health and fitness
In the spirit of body positivity, we aren’t going to talk about the perks of being skinny. Running is not about attractiveness, it’s about staying as healthy as one possibly can. Now, the same study also focused on the benefits of running for obesity, and in this one there were 33,480 male runners and 14,211 female runners. They compared the optimal hours and mileage of running versus walking and came to a conclusion that runners have immensely better results when it comes to weight loss that walkers do. So, if you are fighting obesity, or simply want to shed those extra pounds that make you lose your breath after climbing a few flights of stairs, grab your tracksuit and your vest, snag a pair of the best Nike running shoes, and find your favorite running spot.
Lift your spirits
Most of us want a longer life, but we also crave a happy and content one, too. Emotional and mental health is equally important as the physical, so if your life could use a little mood elevation and a sprinkle of happiness, running might just be for you. Long-time runners claim that “they run because it makes them feel better on a daily basis.” Benefits from running include mood elevation and, quality-of-life improvement. After all, it’s not only about how long your life is, but in what kind of emotional state you choose to spend it. And, in these hectic and stress-filled lives we lead, full of obligations, deadlines, student loans and what not, we could all use a little ‘pick-me-up’.
A healthy heart
Although none of us are guaranteed a life with no cardiovascular issues, medical professionals seem to imply that runners are just a tad more immune to developing them compared to those who don’t run, or don’t engage in any form of physical activity. The reason for running being so good for the heart is that ‘it is a highly aerobic activity that utilizes both fatty acids and carbohydrates for energy’. Runners have thicker and larger left ventricles than people who lead a sedentary lifestyle, which, plainly put, makes their heart more efficient. This is definitely food for thought, especially in the light of the fact that many of the jobs of today entail eight hours of sitting, so running might be the perfect way to neutralize the time we spend motionless.
Stand up straight
Finally, running is simply great for your bones. Over time, our bones tend to weaken and lose their stamina, which causes a number of spine and bone related issues. Running is an absolute antidote for all of these possible bone density-induced issues. Even young people experience arthritis, osteoarthritis and similar conditions, not to mention the elderly. So, if you want strong legs, and healthy bones, hit the treadmill or your favorite streets.
Longevity, great heart function, happiness, weight loss, and great bone condition – do we need more reasons than these benefits of running? Go grab your running shoes and don’t make excuses. If it’s raining or snowing outside, there is always the warm and safe embrace of the gym. Find a way, there’s always a way.
Here’s how you can stick to working out everyday.