Running is one of the best aerobic exercises for physical conditioning of your heart and lungs.
Studies have shown the enormous health benefits, reducing the likelihood of everything from the common cold to cancer. Running will give you better stamina, mental health will sharpen, and will give you countless other perks. Most kinds of physical exercise are beneficial for remaining healthy, and many people prefer running over other forms of physical exercise. Possibly because it’s free and can be done without equipment anywhere. Some runners choose to run for the adrenaline and others choose it for the health benefits.
Here are some of the many reason why running is awesome:
- Longer life – Runners live longer than those who don’t. In one Archives of Internal Medicine study, researchers followed about 1,000 adults (ages 50 and older) for 21 years. At the end of the study, 85% of the runners were still kicking it, while only 66% of the non-runners were alive.
- Runner’s high is real – The runner’s high is real: Mounting research, including one study published in Experimental Technology, shows that when we run, our brains pump out endocannabinoids, cannabis-like molecules that keep runners happy and hooked.
- No driving necessary – Sure, your gym workout might only take an hour, but getting to and from the gym takes another 30 minutes. But the second you step out of your front door, you can be running.
- Can Help Score You Vitamin D – The human body gets most of its vitamin D from sun exposure, but since people spend all of their time indoors, well, you know how it goes. That explains why 41.6% of Americans are deficient in the vitamin,(and almost everybody in Michigan) according to research published in Nutrition Research. Taking your run outside can help boost your levels to ward off depression, prevent type 2 diabetes, and strengthen your bones.
- Burns a ton of calories– An average one-hour weight-training workout at the gym burns about 300 The typical hour-long run burns about twice that.
- No equipment needed – All you need is your body and you’re good to go.
- You can do it anywhere – You can go for a run anywhere in the world.
- You can do in anytime – Nature never closes. If you want to run through the nature trail at 2am, go for it.
- Your pets can do it too – Dogs typically aren’t welcome in gyms, nature doesn’t have the same rules.
- Turns you into the energizer bunny – Running is such a great cardiovascular workout that it makes it so that you don’t get tired as easily from any given workload. The perks of having a low resting heart rate are huge.
- Strengthens your bones – Unlike every other aerobic workout you can crank out in the gym, running is high impact, meaning it loads and remakes your bones along with your muscles.
- Helps you reach your goals – Running makes you very goal-oriented. You’re always trying to achieve new PRs, and you know that you can’t just beat your goal in a day. That mindset, and practice working toward running goals, can pay off in helping you reach other career, financial, and personal goals.
- Makes you tenacious – Running builds a tenacity and mental toughness that translates into every area of your life. If you can handle getting through 26.2 miles, you can handle anything.
- Fights off common cold – If you’re starting to feel sick, an easy 30-minute run can stimulate the immune system to help fight off a cold before it has a chance to take hold.
- Perfect for any fitness level – You might not be able to just jump into Olympic weightlifting. But you can just wake up one morning and decide to go on your first run. Plus, decades later, you still won’t have outgrown it. You can customize every running workout so that you never plateau.
- It can be social – Whether you run with one buddy, or join in a running club, the sport is all about community. (And post-run happy hours. )
- Highly meditative and therapeutic – More of a solo exerciser? That’s cool. Running can be a time to zen out to your own thoughts.
- Never the same – Contrary to what non-runners might think, every run is different, and it doesn’t have to be boring. You can mix it up so many ways, fromrunning hills, going on tempo runs, performing intervals, or mixing it up between the road and the trail
- As functional as it gets – Running is the best workout because it’s the most basic human form of exercise, using your own body, weight, and two legs to propel yourself forward.
- Boosts your mood – All runner’s highs aside,running can help your disposition all day long. For instance, a 2012 study out of Switzerland found that running for just 30 minutes every morning for three weeks significantly improved subject’s sleep quality as well as mood and concentration levels throughout the day.
- Excuse to eat carbs – And not just whole grain “healthy”carbs. We are talking refined pasta, white bread, and cookies. Simple, fast-acting carbohydrates are a runner’s best fuel, and upping your intake—strategically—can help you run better, and recover faster, per research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
- Strengthens your knees – No,running doesn’t wreck your knees. It does the exact opposite. Research from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that running (even marathoning) decreases the risk of knee osteoarthritis. That may be because running increases the flow of nutrients to the cartilage in your knee while also strengthening the ligaments around the joint.
- Heart health – First and foremost,running is an aerobic sport. By training your body’s aerobic (oxygen-sucking) metabolism, it strengthens your heart while lowering your resting heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol. And guess what? Aerobic exercise is, by far, the most time-efficient form of exercise for improving your heart health.
- Eye health – When most guys think about exercise benefits, they probably don’t think about their vision. But 2013 research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that people who run an average of five miles or more a day have a 4% lower risk of developing cataracts, the leading cause of age-related vision loss and blindness. While the exact reason is yet to be known, it could have to do with the fact that running reduces the likelihood of developing high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes, both of which can contribute to cataracts.
- Works you 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, stabilizing your spine, and transferring power between your swinging arms and legs.
- 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, quads, hamstrings, and calves. Remember, you can’t spell legendary without leg day.