Never been a fan of running? We’re about to change your mind. Put one foot in front of the other and start chasing these awesome benefits of running. As simple as running may be, it certainly isn’t easy. Especially when you’re a beginner.
You have to start where you are, not where you think you should be! If you go further or faster than you’re ready for, your body can’t adapt quickly enough and you’ll get injured. That’s why we’ve developed a 9 benefits article to help you understand more!
Are You Ready? This plan is for anyone who has yet to exercise at all. It involves only walking, to give your bones, muscles, tendons and fitness the base they need to progress to running without injury.
1. You Can Do It Right Now
With running, there’s not much of a ‘learning curve’ like there might be for other fitness activities like group dance classes, Olympic lifting, CrossFit, or yoga. Running’s also not as form-dependent as swimming, and because running is a such a natural motion, if you don’t overthink it, your reflexes will just kick in. And away you go!
2. Running Is Good for Your Heart
Running is the king of cardio. Running even five to 10 minutes a day, at slow speeds (how does a nice 12-minute mile sound to you?) is associated with a drastically reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Every time you run, you decrease your resting heart rate, so your heart doesn’t need to work as hard.
3. Runner’s High Is Real
When you run, your brain pumps out two powerful feel-good chemicals, endorphins and endocannabinoidse. Chemically, the endocannabinoids your body produces during a run aren’t all that different from mood-altering chemical, THC.
4. Running Strengthens Your Joints
Runners are half as likely to suffer from knee osteoarthritis compared with walkers. Surprised? Every time you pound the pavement, you stress your bones and cartilage, just like your muscles, causing them to spring back stronger. Low-impact exercises like walking, or even spinning or swimming, don’t have that same bone-building benefit.
5. Running Torches Serious Calories
Running requires a lot of fuel (aka calories). In fact, the average 150-pound person will burn about 12.2 calories per minute running a 10-minute miles. Not too shabby, eh? And that’s on flat terrain. Head outside where wind and hills up your effort and you can expect to burn even more.
6. Running Is a Killer Leg Workout
Your body’s biggest muscles are all in your legs, and running benefits all of them: your inner and outer thighs, your gluteus maximus (get ready to turn some heads with your backside!), quads, hamstrings, and calves. It’s like a dozen leg workouts in one.
7. Running Works Your Core
Running works not only your six-pack rectus abdominis, but also the deeper core muscles including your obliques, erector spinae, and transverse abdominis, which are responsible for sucking in your gut, stabilising your spine, and transferring power between your swinging arms and legs.
8. You Can Always Fit It In
Travelling for work? Don’t belong to a gym? Have only 10 minutes to work out? Whatever your workout constraints, you can still run. That’s an extra advantage for busy women who can’t seem to make other workouts or classes fit their lifestyle. And remember: The best workout is the one you’ll actually do.
9. Running Counts as Meditation
Many runners find that the time alone allows them to think and problem solve. Taking a run-break from a stressful project can help you return feeling refreshed and insightful. A mounting body of research shows that meditation can boost your grey matter, improve focus, and fight depression and anxiety.