Running Benefits: 8 Ways that Running Improves Your Health

Health experts generally agree that exercise is medicine. In fact, exercising (running, to be precise) for about 30 minutes at least five times per week is far more beneficial to your health than taking any prescription pills. In 2017 alone close to 60 million people in the United States participated in exercises such as running, jogging, sprinting, etc. And most of those who participated in these exercises wanted to get fitter and healthier.  As you improve your running schedule, you will also improve your overall health. It’s a great way to lose weight, reduce stress, and increase happiness. Read on for Running Benefits: 8 Ways that Running Improves Your Health!

1. Helps You Maintain or Lose Weight

If you’re looking to live healthily, then one thing you need to keep track of is your weight. If you lose too much weight, you are in trouble, gain too much and you’re also in trouble. So, you need to maintain or even lose a few pounds to stay in your healthy weight range.

That said there is no better way to lose weight than to exercise – running in particular can help you lose weight as long as you do this regularly. Generally, during and even after exercising, more calories are burned. That’s how you lose weight and get your body back to its best natural shape.

2. May Help Keep Cancer at Bay

Get this point right so that you aren’t misadvised. Generally, running cannot cure cancer. However, some studies suggest that incorporating running into your daily routine could help in lowering your risk of certain cancers.

Besides, if you already have cancer, running can improve your quality of life especially if you’re going through chemotherapy. But you should talk to your doctor before you start.

3. Improves Your Heart Health

Studies of running have shown that people who run regularly even if for only 20 minutes a day have a lower risk of suffering from heart disease.

Pumping blood throughout the body requires a stronger heart. Apart from pumping of blood, the heart also helps to transport oxygenated fluids around the body. Running thus keeps your heart stronger and is very likely helping to prevent heart disease.

4. Helps to Keep Your Bones Strong

When running, more weight is exerted on the joints and bones hence keeping you stable. In fact, some studies have found that it improves bone density more than do other exercises such swimming and cycling.

Well, all exercises help a lot when it comes to strengthening your bones and joints so don’t ditch one for the other. A good rule of thumb is to combine them, if you can.

5. Running Improves Your Mental Health

Running benefits almost every part and organ of your body. People who exercise regularly have increased vigor and less fatigue than those who don’t. In fact, some studies have shown that engaging in aerobic exercises like jogging, running, sprinting, etc. can help to sharpen your mind, especially for older people.

It is also said to be beneficial for people who are always forgetting things. Exercising regularly is said to increase the size of your hippocampus, the area that keeps your memory active during learning. Aside from the mental health benefits, running also helps to eliminate stress and anxiety.

6. Runners are Happier People

If you are struggling with low self-esteem, start running and boost your self-esteem. Yes, it makes you more positive and happier. This is because of the triggering of the release of feel-good hormones called endocannabinoids that make you feel better and even, joyous!

What’s more, a 2012 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that running for only 30 minutes a day for three weeks can improve the quality of your sleep, as well as your mood and concentration during the day.

7. Keeps You from Aging too Quickly!

Running will not only help you live longer but it will also keep you from aging too quickly. Generally, all the benefits mentioned above will keep your entire body healthier, free from certain diseases, helping you to live longer, and looking younger than your actual chronological age for many years.

The good thing is that you don’t have to participate in a marathon to see these results. Just setting aside 30 minutes each day, five times a week for running can help you accumulate tremendous health benefits. This applies to people with existing health conditions and those without.

8. Cost-Effective

You just need to set aside the time, motivation, and the willingness to run for 30 minutes every day, five times a week to enjoy all these benefits. There’s no need to pay for a gym membership either. All you need is some running shoes and simple clothing and you’re good to go!

When it comes to listing impactful exercises for improving your overall health, running takes its place in the top 3. There are more benefits to running which we’ll feature in the near future!

Jennifer Dawson

Jennifer Dawson is an experienced freelance writer who specializes in food and nutrition. Working in fitness marketing previously gave her a good feel for the industry and since going freelance she has been able to explore her preferred topic areas such as diet types, nutrition and food. Outside of work, Jen enjoys traveling, swimming and spending time with her young family.

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