The reason that we are so enthusiastic about using running to improve your health and fitness is because the benefits are substantial – not only is running great for your overall wellbeing but it is also mentally very good for the mind and soul – so it’s a fantastic way to keep healthy and fit and stay in shape.
Here’s a list of how running benefits your health and fitness so you can see for yourself why we are so enthusiastic about it:
1. Running is proven to make you happier
Regular exercise will always make you feel better – and running is certainly no exception!
- Running releases a rush of feel-good hormones known as endocannabinoids. In a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, researchers found that even a single bout of running about just 30 minutes worth – has the power to lift the mood of someone suffering from a major depressive order.
- Running also protects you against anxiety and depression, and can help you cope with mental problems such as anxiety and stress.
- Running also improves your sleep and ability to rest – a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health proved that just 30 minutes of running during the week for three weeks boosted sleep quality, mood, and concentration during the day.
2. Running gets you fitter and healthier
Running burns calories while you’re actually running – but the bonus is that when you stop running, the burn continues afterwards which is one reason why running is so effective for improving your fitness levels.
And you don’t have to be sprinting at the speed of sound to get this benefit. This happens when you’re exercising at an intensity that’s about 70 percent of VO2 max. (That’s a little faster than your easy pace, and a little slower than marathon pace.)
3. Running strengthens your joints and bones
It’s been known for a long time that running increases your bone mass, and even helps stem age-related bone loss, but you may have heard many times that running is bad for your knees – and if you have then we have some good news for you – science has proven that it’s not! Studies have shown that running improves knee health, and many long-term studies have shown that running doesn’t appear to cause much damage to the knees at all.
Evidence of this can be seen if you look at people with knee arthritis – you don’t find much of a previous history of running in many or most of them, and when you look at runners and follow them over time, you don’t see their risk of developing osteoarthritis as any greater than the rest of the population.
4. Running can reduce your risk of cancer
There’s plenty of evidence that running helps to reduce the risk of cancer – a review of 170 epidemiological studies in the Journal of Nutrition showed that regular running can be associated with lower risks of certain cancers. What’s more, if you already have cancer, running can improve your quality of life while you’re undergoing chemotherapy.
5 Running is proven to add years to your life
Even if you just do the minimum recommended amount of running, which equates to 30 minutes, five times per week – there’s plenty of evidence suggesting that you’ll live longer!
In terms of figures, the statistics are quite mind blowing – smokers added around 4.1 years to their lives; nonsmokers gained about 3 years.
Even if you’re still smoking, you’ll get around 2.6 more years if you run regularly. Cancer survivors were found to extend their lives by anything up to 5.3 years, whilst those with heart disease were found to gain anything up to 4.3 years.
These figures must surely prove to you that if you are not already doing so, you should be running regularly in order to significantly improve your quality of life and drastically improve your personal health and fitness – as you can see, the benefits are truly remarkable so you really should plan to do this as soon as possible!