When it comes to your health and wellbeing, you certainly don’t need us to patronize you by telling you that exercise is good for you.
We know that exercise is beneficial, but that doesn’t necessarily make it enjoyable.
When it comes down to cardiovascular exercise, there are many benefits of running, which is precisely what we’re going to be looking at today.
If you want to get some cardio in and burn off some calories, running is an activity that instantly springs to mind.
There are many, many benefits associated with running, and it also happens to be an incredibly versatile activity as well.
People think that running/jogging has to be a boring and monotonous activity that seems to last a lifetime when in reality it can be fun and enjoyable.
When you consider the many running health benefits associated with this activity, it’s easy to see why trainers and health experts alike, all recommend it.
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Here’s a detailed look at several fascinating running benefits that will surely have you lacing up your running shoes.
Okay, so it’s a Monday morning.
It’s cold, it’s grey, it’s dark, and you’re feeling low.
We’ve all been there, don’t worry, although that doesn’t make it any less depressing.
If you’re feeling low, even though your motivation may be lacking, if you force yourself to go for a run, you’ll soon find yourself feeling fantastic.
Running is a natural mood-enhancer.
Running helps to wake you up and it floods your body with endorphins which lift the mood and make you feel much happier.
The more endorphins you produce and secrete, the happier you will feel.
An early morning run will set you up wonderfully for the day ahead, although when you go running, you can go anytime that you like.
Another reason to lace up your sneakers and go running is the fact that it has been found to help reduce your blood pressure.
High blood pressure claims thousands of lives each year and causes hundreds of thousands of chronic health conditions.
It is an epidemic that has health officials very concerned.
Hypertension, as it is known, is also very difficult to diagnose.
Running is a fantastic way of naturally reducing your blood pressure, rather than having to rely on prescription drugs and medications which cause unpleasant side effects.
Far too many of us spend so much time indoors, especially during the colder and darker seasons.
With smartphones and technology now dominating everyday life, getting outdoors when you don’t have to is a real struggle sometimes.
Another benefit that is proving very popular is the fact that running helps get you outdoors.
Whether you’re running around the block, your local park, the nearest running track, or through the countryside or embarking on a trail, getting outside, some fresh air, and some rays from the sun will do wonders for you physically, and spiritually as well.
Without a doubt, one of the main benefits has to be that it is a great way to burn fat.
Obesity levels are now at their all-time highest, and as you probably know, losing fat is not as easy as gaining it.
If you’re looking to lose fat in a healthy and natural way, one of the best forms of physical exercise is running.
Running is a great form of cardio, which will allow you to tap into your body fat reserves and fuel your workouts with the calories in your fat.
Calories are literally units of energy and just as a car needs gas to drive, your body needs energy when it exercises.
The longer and more intensely your runs are, the more calories/fat you will burn off.
If you’re looking to lose weight, including excess weight you may have accumulated over the holidays, running is a great form of exercise.
Another of the very important benefits that we’re going to be looking at today is the fact that running is so fantastic for the heart.
Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body, and if you fail to look after it properly, you run the risk of suffering from all kinds of cardiovascular health issues.
Heart disease is the world’s biggest killer, so looking after your ticker is vital.
Running is a fantastic form of cardiovascular exercise, that helps to strengthen the heart, improve circulation, and improve cardiovascular health in general.
If you want an activity that is great for the heart, look no further than running.
If you want to enjoy a healthy set of lungs, be sure to do more running.
Running is a great activity for people looking to strengthen their lungs.
Runners have a much higher and stronger lung capacity.
This is very important because it means that they can produce more oxygen, and deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the cells before they begin to fatigue.
One of the lesser-known running benefits that we’re going to examine today is that running is actually a great activity for strengthening the immune system.
Your immune system keeps you safe, from within, from germs, bacteria, pathogens, and other nasties that are looking to attack you from the inside and make you ill.
The stronger your immune system is, the healthier you will be.
One of the best things about running is that it helps to strengthen the immune system, which means that running will help to keep you fitter and healthier.
Regular running will reduce your risk of getting sick, and if you do fall victim to an illness, you’ll recover much quicker.
Turns out that running is actually a fantastic way of increasing your leg strength.
Running will help you to work on your fast and slow-twitch muscle fibers, which in turn will improve muscle fiber endurance, and will help to improve explosive speed and power.
If you want to be able to lift more with your legs, be sure to take up running, and the strength increases will become visible in no time at all.
Again, if you want to build muscle in your legs, squats aren’t the only exercise that you should be doing.
If you’re looking to build muscle in your legs, there are plenty of running benefits to pay attention to.
Running is an activity that gently helps to tone and work the muscles in your legs.
The more of it you do, the more muscle you will build.
Running on an incline is especially beneficial for times when you want to add resistance to your workouts.
There’s a common misconception surrounding running, in which many people seem to think that it is boring.
In reality, if you switch up your runs, and try new things, the activity itself becomes very enjoyable.
Running is an activity that can be altered as much as you like.
Running on a treadmill for one solid hour, for example, may seem boring to some people, but running on a mountain trail in the wilderness for a few hours may seem incredibly exciting.
When it comes to running, you can make it fun in numerous ways.
You can try different routes, run with friends, join a running group, listen to music, and much more besides.
We all know what people mean when they talk about getting high, but the problem is that many illegal highs from various narcotics and compounds can be extremely dangerous.
There are, however, numerous natural highs that are safe and good for you.
One of which is known as the ‘runner’s high’.
This occurs after a while of running when adrenalin and endorphins begin flooding their way around your body.
This can give you a feeling of happiness and Euphoria which can be considered high.
It makes you feel amazing, and once it sets in you won’t want it to end.
Running stimulates the precise same reward and pleasure receptors in the brain, which leaves you feeling happy and high on life, without harmful substances.
As you grow older, you’ll find that your bones become weaker and more susceptible to ailments and injuries.
Osteoporosis is a prime example.
This can cause your bones to become soft and brittle and crumbly, which is obviously a disaster.
Another of the awesome running health benefits that we’re going to look at today, though, is the fact that running helps to boost bone mineral density.
This allows the bones to become thicker and denser, which means that they are less susceptible to these ailments.
When discussing the many benefits, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the fact that running is one of the most versatile activities in existence.
The great thing about running is the fact that you can do it anywhere, at any time, in a number of different ways.
If you want to do hill sprints, you can do so.
If you want to go trail running across various types of terrain, you can do so.
Or, of course, you can simply go for a jog around the block, or hop onto the treadmill and get your run in that way instead.
With so many different types of runs to choose from, you’ll be sure to be entertained for hours.
Another great thing about running is the fact that running is one of the best forms of exercise for people looking to improve their fitness.
Running helps to boost your stamina and endurance, as well as your VO2 Max levels.
This means that it enables you to utilize more oxygen during exercise, which in turn gives you more energy and more endurance before fatigue sets in.
For people trying to boost their stamina and endurance, running is an incredibly beneficial activity.
When it comes to the numerous fascinating benefits, another one we cannot overlook, is the fact that running is so fantastic for people that are looking to build up their confidence.
Running will help you to tone your muscles and to burn fat.
This will help you to improve your physique, which will help to improve your body confidence.
Then, of course, there’s the fact that running also helps to increase the number of endorphins flowing through your body, which will put you in a happier mood.
If you suffer from poor mobility and/or flexibility, you’ll find this next example of one of the many running benefits especially interesting.
Running has been found to help promote and increase mobility and flexibility.
If you suffer from stiff joints, or trouble bending over/moving around, etc, regular running will work wonders for your mobility.
Do people often ask the question of does running build muscle?
Well, In this section we’re going to share a few tips with you on how to build muscle when running.
If you’re struggling to notice any real improvements in your physique when it comes to running and muscle growth, check out these handy tips.
When it comes to building muscle, whether you’re lifting weights, doing plyometrics, CrossFit, running, or anything else, it’s absolutely essential that you get plenty of rest.
In order for muscle growth to occur, you basically need to break down and damage existing muscle tissue in order for your body to rebuild the muscle.
When you exercise you are creating micro rips and tears in the muscle fibers so that your body can rebuild them even bigger and stronger than they were beforehand.
If you aren’t getting enough rest and recovery time, though, all you are doing is breaking down the muscle whenever you go running, and not giving your muscles enough time to recover.
After a tough run, your legs will be sore because of the damage to the muscle tissue you’ve caused which is why you need to allow for plenty of time to recover.
Make sure you have at least two full days off from running and the gym in general and be sure to get enough sleep each night as well.
The next tip we’re going to share with you today is based solely upon diet.
Running can be beneficial for building muscle, especially in the legs, but like any other type of exercise, if your diet isn’t on point, you won’t see any noticeable gains at all.
People seem to think that exercise is the tough part about building muscle when in reality, the hard part is diet.
To build muscle and get more from your runs, you need to fuel your body with the right ingredients.
For energy, you will need complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, which will also improve the joints.
For muscle growth via protein synthesis, though, you need to make sure you’re consuming enough protein from the right sources.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are also great for energy for running, as well as general health and wellbeing thanks to their high vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant contents.
When you lift weights in the gym, it’s important to get the correct form with each specific exercise, as otherwise, the exercise won’t do what it is supposed to.
When it comes to running, though, surely you don’t need to worry about your form? After all, running is running, right?
Well, not exactly.
You see, when you run, with each footfall, this is known as ‘landing’ as it is here where you absorb anything from 2 – 4 times your own bodyweight.
This is performed eccentrically which serves as the primary stimulus for muscle growth during running.
Despite it being aerobic exercise, studies have found that skeletal muscle hypertrophy is stimulated via running.
Practice getting your feet where they’re supposed to be and make sure you time each footfall correctly to maximize your gains.
And that brings us to a close.
Now that you know more about the many fascinating benefits of running, hopefully, you’ll now decide to lace up your sneakers, throw on your running gear, and take up this awesome physical activity.
There are many more benefits associated with running than the ones we have listed above for you today, but hopefully, now you have more of an idea about just how fantastic this type of exercise really is.
Reda is an ACE Certified Nutritionist, Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt and bodybuilder with 11 years of experience. He's been published on many influential websites such as lifehack.org, Wealthy Gorilla, Good Men Project and more.