13 Benefits of running

13 benefits of running

You’ve all heard that running is good for the body, great for the mind, and awesome for the soul, but do you really know what the benefits of being a runner are? In this article we are going to explore how running could be great for you. Read on to find out more!

Benefit #1 : Running adds happiness to your life:

  • If you are already an exercise junkie you have probably figured it out already. Whether you are feeling good or feeling bad at any given time, you can count on running (or other exercise) to make you feel better. Have you heard the phrase “runner’s high”? If not, runners high happens when one exerts themselves so much that their body then reaches a certain threshold. If you are doing a long workout that is of medium to high intensity, you may experience euphoria. Runners high is the feeling of physiological well-being which arises during prolonged workout.

Benefit #2 : Running helps you lose weight:

  • By now we’re sure you know that exercise burns calories. Did you know that your body doesn’t stop burning calories after you have finished exercising? If you work out regularly, that alone will up the “after-burn.” After burn is basically the number of calories you will burn post work out. To achieve after burn, you have to make sure you are exercising with an intensity of about 70%. You do not have to be sprinting and giving it your maximum effort. Remember, just being active in general will help you maintain a healthy weight and keep you nice and toned.
Product Recommendation

If you want to start running just to shed some unwanted weight but don’t know how to start, you should read Running For Weight Loss- Ultimate Beginners Guide for Kindle.

Benefit #3 : Running strengthens your joints and bones:

  • Okay, you’ve heard everyone say “Don’t you know running is bad for your knees and joints?” We’ve all heard it before, but science proves otherwise. Studies from Boston University researcher David Felson showed that running actually improves the health of your knees. Running has been known to increase bone mass and can even help age related bone loss. Those are some pretty amazing benefits!

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Benefit #4 : Running keeps you on point, even as you age:

  • It has been proven that adults who exercise regularly and stay in shape score better on mental tests than those who do not exercise and stay fit. Psychonomic Bulletin Review published a study in December 2012 that showed the evidence is overwhelming that routine exercise (such as running) can help beat age related mental deterioration especially in things like memory, attention and task switching.

Benefit #5 : Running may increase the length of your life:

  • The recommended amount of daily activity is 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Even if you just follow that recommendation, you could live longer than those who don’t. The healthier you are, and the better shape you are in, will help to increase your chances of living a longer healthier life.

Benefit #6 : Running can change your entire lifestyle:

  • Those who take up running are known to go through some major lifestyle changes. They start watching what they are eating, they start eating more nutritious meals, and they will even quit bad habits such as smoking and drinking.

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Benefit #7 : Running can boost your confidence:

  • Doing something you weren’t sure you could do, or doing something you are afraid of is a huge confidence booster. Learning about running and actually running is a great conversation piece and can lead to a great social confidence as well. You may also find our self a new set of friends with similar interests.

Benefit #8 : Running can eliminate depression:

  • Along with the physical benefits, running has a lot of benefits for the mind as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1 out of 10 adult Americans will suffer from depression. It is also known that those who suffer from depression sometimes have a poor self image.  Setting a personal goal and physical goal can be great for someone suffering from depression because there is a goal oriented benefit as well as feeling the “runners-high”. One of the biggest factors in depression is inactivity, so getting out and going for a run can be a major help.
It has been shown that exercise is a very effective treatment for depression, but is often underused.

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Benefit #9 : Running can boost your memory:

  • According to Cambridge University scientists a daily jog can lead to the growth of new brain cells which can boost your memory. It is not exactly clear why this growth happens but the thought is that it could be linked to the blood flow, or the higher levels of hormones that are released while exercising.

Benefit #10 : Running can help you sleep better:

  • Getting in the habit of a regular work out may help you sleep better at night. Naturally, ones body temperature will rise during the day, and go down at night, indicating that it is time for sleep. When you run, your body temperature goes up, and then actually goes lower than if you hadn’t taken that run. The lower body temperature is what helps you sleep better.

Benefit #11 : Running can increase stamina:

  • Stamina is mostly about your body’s capability to work for a longer period or time, instead of working harder. As you start running and increasing your distance, you are also increasing your stamina which you may benefit from in many other aspects of your life.

Benefit #12 : Running Boosts your energy:

  • If you are feeling extremely fatigued all day every day, try running. Running can to be a major energy booster, and can leave you with a little extra each day for those important moments.

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Benefit #13 :  Running can improve posture and will strengthen your core:

  • While running, you are mostly strengthening your core muscles. That alone can help with any poor posture you might be experiencing. Form is extremely important for long distance runners, and running may help you carry good form (posture) into your every day life.

There you have it, 13 AMAZING benefits to becoming a runner. Speaking of which, read this post on how to become a runner if you are interested in getting started. Who wouldn’t want to reap the benefits of being physically active? Try something new — you never know how it might change your life.

Product Recommendation

For more on the benefits of running, consider reading Run for your life.

If you can’t seem to get time away from the kids but still want to exercise read 10+ playground exercises for mom and 10 fun ways to workout with your kids.

Photo credits: 1,3 Lauren Hardy, 2, The Art of making a Baby 4, Rosemary 5, ourthreepeas.com
Sources: Center for disease control and prevention, Runners World

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Lauren Hardy

Lauren is a new mom living in Toronto, Canada. When she is not at home being a mom, she is working full time as a model, playing competitive baseball, and working on her personal blog. In her “spare” time, Lauren is aspiring to become a childbirth educator. You can find her at Lauren Hardy Blog

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