Wondering if you should start running as part of your workout routine? Running can be a daunting exercise to start but life changing once you begin.
Is running good for you? Yes, when you’re running, you’re benefiting your health and investing in yourself. Whether you’re long-distance running, doing short interval sprints, or even going for a light jog, you’re making a difference. Running can assist in weight loss, improve cardiovascular health, strengthen joints and the immune system, and improve your mood as well as your overall quality of life.
What are the physical benefits of running?
Running has a number of physical benefits. Running has been proven to improve heart health and is known to promote strength in your joints to decrease the chance of any type of arthritis. This age-old form of exercise helps you not only maintain a healthy weight but also improve cardiovascular health, boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, and promote better sleeping patterns.
Personal trainer and health coach Miguel Fragoso is a big proponent of running for its health benefits. “It increases blood flow and oxygenating cells, muscles, and brain,” he says. Fragoso also notes how running makes for a better lifestyle. “It helps build endurance for physical activities like playing with the kids or practicing other sports. It helps maintain a healthy body weight. It helps manage stress. It elevates energy for daily tasks at work.”
1. Running burns calories and helps you lose weight
When you have a pair of running shoes, there’s no need to spend money on a monthly gym membership. Having a daily routine, even just jogging 30 minutes a day, will help you burn calories and reduce weight. Along with lowering body fat mass, running also improves body cell and muscular mass and releases endorphins.
The stair stepper, bike, and other pieces of gym equipment can make you work hard, but running is the one of the best exercises for weight loss. If you want to burn calories quicker, add high-intensity interval training to your routine. Better Health Channel says that running can improve muscle strength as well as help build strong bones.
2. Running improves cardiovascular health
Health and wellness go further than your appearance. Yes, being a healthy weight for your body is important, but your cardiovascular health is just as critical. Being healthy on the inside is a key factor to a long and active life. Exercise, specifically running, has been shown to be a great way to improve and maintain heart health. Running can also help regulate your body mass index (BMI), which can, in turn, lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
3. Running strengthens your joints
Many worry that if they begin running, the impact on their joints especially in the knees, hips, and ankles will increase the risk of developing arthritis.
Body weight can be one of the biggest risk factors to one of the most common types of arthritis, osteoarthritis. Arthritis occurs when the cartilage in your joints breaks down, resulting in the swelling of your joints. According to The Arthritis Foundation, if you are 4.5 kilograms overweight, it could put up to 23 extra kilograms of pressure on your joints.
Since running burns calories, your body may be able to keep weight off your joints, leading to a lesser risk of having osteoarthritis.
4. Running boosts your immune system
Having a strong immune system that can fight off sickness is important. Exercises such as running work in many ways to keep your immune system strong. Running helps to increase breathing rate, pushing bacteria out of the lungs and airways. Running can also boost white blood cells, which help to fight off diseases. The sweat you produce while working out increases your body temperature, which prevents bacteria from increasing. Running works in all these ways to keep your body in top shape so you can fight off illness.
5. Running lowers your blood pressure
Maintaining a good blood pressure is vital for your body to function correctly. Having your blood pressure too high or too low can directly affect how you feel. Having a daily form of exercise can make your heart stronger. A healthy heart is able to pump more blood with little effort, creating a lower blood pressure. Keeping a daily routine of exercise and cardio, such as running, can help to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
6. Running improves your quality of sleep
Sometimes whether or not you had a good night's sleep can affect your whole day there’s only so much a morning cup of coffee can take care of.
Your sleep patterns can influence several health factors, including brain function, the immune system, and weight gain. Running for 30 minutes daily can lead to more restful nights. Getting better sleep will help you feel rested in the morning and function better throughout the day.
7. Running increases your life span
If there were a simple solution to increase the years of your life, would you do it? Most people would say yes. And the solution is as simple as running for as little as 30 minutes daily.
Running even 30 minutes a day can lessen the risk of death from any cause. Any cardio exercise is proven to be better than any of the brain-enhancing superfoods. Running is proven to keep your mind young while simultaneously keeping your internal organs working properly.
What are the emotional and mental benefits of running?
Your body's health is important, but your mental health and wellness deserves just as much attention. What does running do for your state of mind? Consider the chemical effects alone: increased levels of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Running can release these chemicals and create a greater sense of well-being.
Everyone who runs uses it in a different way. Running can be for exercise, but it can also serve as therapy. According to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, when you run, your body naturally releases endorphins that make you feel instantly happy. It’s at this stage where many runners mention “runners high.” And adding running to your daily routine will slow cognitive decline that naturally happens when you age.
Thirty minutes a day will simply improve your state of mind, putting you into a mentally relaxed state. But you’ll get more than just relaxation; you’ll also feel accomplished and in control.
Sara Taiocchi, an ASICS FrontRunner, says, “Running taught me constancy: fixing a goal, working on it, getting it, and then starting again to make it better, to be a better person.” She adds, “It makes me aware of my strengths, and able to accept my weaknesses.”
8. Running improves memory and overall cognitive performance
Running is known to keep your mind sharp and your body fit. It’s linked to improving memory and overall cognitive performance. Harvard Health says that daily exercise has direct impacts on memory through the growth of new blood vessels in the brain. Having growth of new blood vessels can improve your memory as you get older.
9. Running relieves stress
Stress can show itself in many different ways, such as headaches, change in sleeping patterns, or anxiety. Running changes the way our brains deal with stress. While there are different tips and tricks to reduce stress, one of the best ways is getting your body in motion. Running helps us to face stressful situations in a more effective and healthy way.
Many runners will attest to experiencing “runners high,” where endorphins are released that allow you to run longer and faster. Those same natural endorphins can also improve your mood and reduce stress.
10. Running builds self-confidence
When you set a goal and achieve it, your confidence in yourself increases. That said, running can be a great way to boost your self-confidence. Knowing that you’re capable of setting a task and completing it is good for your mental state. It allows you to feel good about yourself and can help keep you motivated on a daily basis.
FrontRunner member Tanja Christine Gaivoronski concurs. “Running makes me a better version of me,” she says. “After a run, I feel more alert, happier, and confident. I get creative and focused at various tasks. I feel energized and at the same time calm and patient. I deal better with different challenges, and I am more efficient at work. Running has taught me that anything is possible, to believe in myself and what I'm capable of.”
11. Running is also a great way to make friends
Running can be a great way to make connections in your area. There are many ways to get involved in running groups, from apps to local tracks to social media groups. It’s great to run to clear your head, but sometimes having a running partner can motivate you to push yourself.
Is it healthy to run every day?
Exercise is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But is running good for you if you do it every day? Actually, running can produce the most effective results if done in a daily routine. Running or jogging at a light pace every day for 5-10 minutes has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower the risk of developing cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
It’s important to be active every day to combat not only illness but also weight gain. But to avoid injury and get the most from your exercise, make sure to prepare before each run. Stretching, warming up, and having the correct shoes can completely change the outcome and success of your daily run.
How long does it take to see results from running?
You may be eager to see immediate effects from running, but some early results can't be seen by the human eye. Your physical appearance may not have visible changes in the first week. Nevertheless, after your first run, you'll have a sense of accomplishment and may be eager to get out there again.
Improve your health with every step
Running and jogging can play a big part in maintaining your health. The most common benefits of running are reduction of blood pressure and improvement of cardiovascular fitness, the improvement of weight loss and control, and the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and arthritis. Plus, you’ll have better mental health and sleep. Your overall lifestyle can be improved by adding a 30-minute run into your daily routine.
Everyone can start running, but it may take some dedication and focus. For some, the first run is the hardest. But after that, it’ll be second nature. Luckily, knowing the benefits it will have for your body and mind will push you every day. All you need is motivation and a great pair of running shoes.