Seven reasons why you need more running in your life
Does the thought of going out for a brisk run bring a smile to your face or does it bring back memories of those dreaded laps in high school gym class? The truth is, when it comes to working out and staying fit, few physical activities compare to a good old-fashioned run. It’s simple, you can complete it anywhere and anytime, and the best part is a good jog doesn’t require a pricey gym membership.
Whether you’re an avid morning runner or cringe at the thought of lacing up for a jog, read on to discover the many health benefits of running. If you haven’t tried running for a while (ahem, high school gym class folks, we know you’re out there!) or wish you could incorporate more of it into your fitness routine, here are seven reasons why running wins the race when it comes to staying healthy and feeling your best.
- Running makes you feel happier. Ever heard of a “runner’s high”? Yes, it’s actually a real thing and it stems from endorphins among other chemicals secreted from the brain that improve your mood. In fact, running is known to be an excellent natural anti-depressant for this very reason. Next time you’re feeling down, grab your sneakers and head for a run to boost your mood.
- It makes your lungs stronger. Running increases your lung capacity and endurance, which helps you work out longer and more effectively. And let’s not forget that increased lung capacity means you’ll blow out those birthday candles on the first try year after year.
- It helps keep high blood pressure at bay. During a run, your arteries expand and contract. This keeps them fit, resulting in helping to keep your blood pressure within healthy ranges.
- It boosts your immunity to illness and disease. Did you know that running actually builds up your immune system which can result in less illnesses throughout the year? Sniffles and coughs aside, doctors also recommend running for more serious conditions, like those who are in the early stages of high blood pressure and diabetes, even osteoporosis. And, running has been proven to lower heart attack risk.
- It keeps you in shape. This one is a no-brainer, but aside from cross-country skiing, running burns the most calories per minute compared to other physical activities. Add a few inclines to your run and you’re practically ready for swimsuit season.
- It wards off stress. Aside from those happy endorphins, running also boosts your brain’s serotonin levels, which work to make you feel naturally more at ease and relaxed. Running is also a great way to banish those tension headaches after a stressful day.
- It makes you feel empowered. This one might be surprising, but it’s true! Running can help you feel in control of your life and your body while boosting your self-esteem and confidence. And once you feel empowered, you are ready to take on anything. Even that early a.m. run.
If this list has convinced you to incorporate more running into your routine, hooray! But be sure to consult with your physician before starting any new physical activity. And once you get the green light, be sure to stretch out and warm up before you head out the door. Happy running!