The Benefits of Starting Running

plantation 2Running is a simple sport that requires very little equipment (just a good pair of running shoes and if you are a woman a good sports bra or crop top).  But in spite of its simplicity, it brings with it many benefits.  If you are not a runner, you may want to start after learning about the many ways running can improve your health and your life!

Here are just a few of the amazing benefits of running:

1.  Calorie burn.  Running is a great way to burn off extra calories.  In fact, running burns more calories in the same amount of times than does hiking or cycling.  On average, a person can burn about sixty to seventy calories per km, with heavier people burning more calories and lighter people burning fewer.  Running is a great way to maintain weight control.

2.  Prevention of heart disease.  When you run, your arteries have to expand and contract more than usual to keep up with the demand on your cardiovascular system.  This causes your arteries to be stronger and more elastic, which results in lower blood pressure.  The demand placed on your heart and lungs also helps them to grow stronger and more efficient, and this is one of the best defenses against heart disease.

3.  Stronger bones. As we age, our bones get weaker and less dense leading to fractures and osteoporosis.  But running can stop this process and even reverse it. The pounding that your bones take during running causes them to bend slightly.  This slight bending is a signal to your bones to grow stronger and increase density, reducing the chances that you will suffer from fractures as you age.

4.  Improved mental health.  Have you ever heard of the ‘runner’s high?”  It is real and it can be yours.  Vigorous exercises like running produce endorphins in your brain.  Endorphins are natural pain killers and mood lifters.  When these chemical are circulating in your system, you feel happy, relaxed and have a strong sense of well-being and happiness.  Many people have found that intense exercise like running alleviates depression and helps them sleep better.

5. Healthy joints.  The stronger your joints and tendons are, the fewer injuries you will have.  Running forces your joints to become stronger as they adapt to the new stresses that you are placing on them.  Your cartilage will become healthier too, as it expands and contracts while you run.  This helps to wash out waste and impurities, keeping the cells from becoming sick and weak.


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