“JUST START RUNNING! It’s the most effective and one of the best ways to become fit and healthy. “I’m sure you’ve heard people saying this to you. Arousing your curiosity, asking: “Is Running really beneficial?”. Do you want to start running but you lack the motivation to run? And you ask yourself: is running really for me? I’m sure you have, which is why you are here reading my article trying to learn more information about the benefits of running.
Before we do that, I want you to think about why do you want to start running. If you want to start running, the most important thing that you need to find is internal motivation. Find a good reason to start running – it’ll help you stick to your routine once you develop it. And speaking of reasons to run, let’s talk about the benefits of running.
Here are the 10 most important benefits of Running:
1. Helps lose weight
Even though running regularly is one of the easiest ways to lose weight, most people still don’t think about it when they want to lose weight. They prefer looking for a magic pill (which doesn’t exist).
Face the reality: losing weight requires sacrifices. You’ll feel hungry, you’ll feel tired, you’ll feel frustrated. The same applies to running. Running is a wonderful way to lose weight, but it certainly isn’t easy, especially at the beginning.
Running is something which is for most people when starting out an unpleasant activity. After a few weeks of running regularly, you’ll probably start looking forward to your running sessions. And after that, you’ll learn to love running and that’s when maintaining a healthy weight will become easy (given that you also take care of your diet).
As for burning calories when running, if you’re a 200-pound male you burn approximately 900 calories when running 6 miles per hour for 60 minutes. A Heavier person will lose more calories than a person who weighs less. A 300-pound male would burn about 1400 calories instead of 900 calories.
As you can see, running tremendously increases your energy expenditure. Three to four one-hour running sessions a week will result in burning up to a pound of body fat per week which means that you can lose up to 50 pounds a year (of course if you eat according to your caloric needs).
2. Keeps your skin looking youthful
After the age of 30, it is known that your body starts aging, your skin slowly starts to lose its youthfulness. By taking better care of your body, you can delay the aging process. This is one of the benefits of running. You will lose weight and tone up your body a little bit which means you’ll look more youthful and vibrant (this applies to both men women).
Remember that people do judge you by looks. You can’t help it, but you can use it to your advantage. People will certainly treat you differently when you get rid of your belly!
3. Fights diseases and improves immunity
People who run regularly have stronger immune systems than people who live a sedentary lifestyle. Studies show that people who exercise regularly (at least three times a week) have fewer colds.
Moreover, highly fit elderly people have stronger immune systems than the elderly who aren’t as active.
However, training too hard may suppress your immune system for a few hours to even a few days. Consequently, if you’re just starting out, it’s important to take it step by step. Overtraining (especially if you want to run marathons) may lead to a cold or even the flu.
4. Improves cardiovascular health
Running is an aerobic exercise. If you run regularly, you engage in aerobic conditioning, which means training the heart and lungs to pump blood more efficiently (which allows more oxygen to get to muscles and organs). Improved efficiency of your heart means better cardiovascular health and lower risk of heart disease.
Your fitness level is a good predictor of long-term heart health. In other words, if you are fit and able to run for at least 30 minutes without panting at 40, you’ll have a lower risk of heart disease when you’re 50, 60, or 70 than a person who can’t run even for 15 minutes without panting.
5. Improves confidence
Running, just like many other endurance sports, increases your confidence. When you’re starting out, you probably won’t run longer than 15 minutes without panting (and in many cases, you won’t even be able to run for that long). After a few weeks of regular training, you might be able to run for 20 minutes, 25, 30, or even longer.
Every time you go out running you have to push yourself a little bit further. Run a little faster, run a little bit longer – run despite pain and discomfort.
After a few weeks to a few months of regular running sessions, you’ll notice that you’re a more confident person because you’ll notice that you have dramatically improved.
There aren’t many things as uncomfortable as running when you physically feel that you just can’t run for longer or run faster. And then there aren’t many things as pleasant as being able to overcome discomfort and pain and beat your personal record.
6. Helps relieve stress
Running can make you high (without any side effects!). Runner’s high occurs when endorphins are released when you’re running with moderate to high intensity (when you have problems with breathing and usually when you’ve been running for at least 10-15 minutes).
During a release of endorphins, you not only feel happy and relaxed (runner’s high creates a feeling of euphoria), you’re also able to surpass your limits because you’re able to run despite pain.
I found out that every time I feel nervous, angry, and/or stressed, running with high intensity helps me relax and deal with stress and problems better.
7. Builds your willpower
Running is all about endurance and willpower. As I mentioned before when writing about confidence, you have to push yourself to surpass your limits.
Running regularly and constantly improving your results makes you stronger and builds your character. You can’t help but become a better person when you’re constantly facing pain and discomfort and acting despite it.
8. Increases stamina
Running improves your stamina which will certainly help you in your everyday life. That means that you can climb stairs without a problem, and without having to avoid them. You will be able to go anywhere without having to take a taxi even if it’s a few blocks away. You’ll be able to enjoy your vacations more because you’ll be able to walk for longer. You’ll be able to keep up with your children or grandchildren.
As you can see, there are many great reasons to start running simply because it improves stamina!
9. Improves health in general
Like mentioned before, running improves respiratory health, cardiovascular health, reduces total blood cholesterol, strengthens the immune system and bones (and possibly also increases bone density), helps lose weight, and reduces blood pressure.
Consequently, it improves your health in general and may slow down the aging process or even reverse it (have you ever seen an unhealthy person who started running and after a few months looked at least a few years younger?).
Remember: regular exercise is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. Running regularly will improve the majority of the most important predictors of long-term health and increase your satisfaction with life.
10. Changes your whole life
Yeah, I know that is sounds cliché, but it’s true. Running may change your life in so many ways that you’ll feel like you got a second chance to start everything all over again.
Since running may improve your health and fitness and consequently also improve your looks, it may help you find a soul mate or even a future husband or wife.
As mentioned before, running also builds your willpower and determination which are some of the fundamental things you need to have if you want to achieve success in life. Start running and go from 5 minutes of running without panting to one hour without panting and your confidence will surely go up noticeably (let alone your stamina).
Last but not least, running is a great way to relieve stress. Stress is currently one of the most dangerous risk factors for many health problems so it’s crucial to learn how to deal with it effectively.
What are you waiting for? After reading about all these benefits of running you should be convinced to start running as soon as possible! Also, if you liked reading all these benefits of running, but are struggling with high arches make sure to check out this article about how to choose running shoes for high arches.