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Benefits of running: 21 ways running makes your life better

benefits of running

Are you tired of the same boring routine that is pushing you towards a stressful life and doesn’t leave much time for you to think about your health? If yes, then you’ve reached the right place to find the solution.

One life-altering decision can have a big impact on your life, an impact that would not only surprise you but would take you on the path of health and happiness. This big decision needs to be made today, in fact right now! Now you may ask what that life-altering resolution is. The answer would be EXERCISING.

 

Of all the intensive workout regimens known to man, running is by far the most effective method to bring a positive change in your life. A major part of its success lies in the fact that running brings into action almost every muscle of the body and you don’t have to target different muscle groups separately.

Need a reason for running? Well, we’ve got many. It’s not just about losing weight or attaining the bikini figure. In the next five minutes you’ll get to know that running is not just a workout regimen but is an essential activity of our daily lifestyle that helps us stay fit both physically and mentally. It is actually a key to living a balanced lifestyle.

benefits-of-running

Bear with us till the end and get to know how running effects our body in 21 important ways.

  1. Best Way To Lose Weight

 

The prime target of all our intense workout regimens is to attain a zero figure and a lean body. Running is the best exercise to lose weight because it targets all muscle groups in the body. You don’t need to spend any more money on expensive cross trainers. Just wear your Nike and head to the nearest jogging track.

  1. Strengthens The Immune System

 

Regular running helps the body fight against microbes, viruses, fungi and oncogenic cells because it strengthens the cell mediated and humoral immunity. The complement system that helps in defense of the body also works better and the individual does not suffer from recurrent infections and cancers.

There is no logical explanation as to how running improves white cell function however one theory proposes that running flushes the bacteria out of the body. Another school of thought states that running causes a reduction in the release of cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress. Reduced cortisol in the blood reduces the risk of illness.

  1. Improved Joint Function

Running delays the development of age-related changes in the joints. Diseases like osteoarthritis and osteoporosis stay far away from individuals who run on a regular basis. It actually increases the bone mineral density and decreases bone turnover which helps in the maintenance of strong skeleton through many years.

The Boston University of medicine discovered in their study that the damaged cartilage is improved by running. This in turns strengthens the ligaments and joint capsules which make the joints mobile and flexible.

  1. Better Lung Function

Running makes the respiratory muscles stronger, increases the reserve volume of the lungs and overall improves oxygenation of the tissues.

  1. Reduced Risk Of Diabetes

Running improves function of the pancreas and makes the body tissues more sensitive to insulin.  Therefore risk of diabetes type 2 is lowered drastically because glucose levels in the blood are maintained within a normal limit.

  1. Relief From Migraine

Running enhances blood flow to the brain and thus improves muscular tension. It has a calming effect on the nervous system and is an excellent remedy for patients who suffer from migraine.

  1. Improved Memory And Intellect

Running every day increases learning ability and boosts creativity. In 2006, the University of Muenster, Germany, discovered that a direct relationship is present between running and learning ability. It was also found that running can make you smarter by stimulating the brain to grow new grey matter. Thus, it improves the ability to recall memories and learn efficiently.

Another study was conducted in 2014 and it proved that running on a regular basis increases the size of the hippocampus in brain, a small ridge shaped part that controls memory and learning, in women who were at a risk of dementia. So instead of taking Alzheimer medications, try breaking a sweat!

  1. Happiness And Satisfaction

 

Kick off your happy hormones and set them to work with just thirty minutes of brisk walking daily.

The frontal cortex in the brain is responsible for making a person happy and satisfied with his life. Regular running promotes the release of a neurotransmitter called endorphin that acts directly on the prefrontal cortex and induces feeling of contention and well being. This is why running is shown to release stress and make the mind calm.

This theory was proved by a research in Penn State University which concluded that people who exercised, whether it was a mild, moderate or vigorous workout, had more pleasant feelings than those who didn’t.

  1. Self-confidence And Motivation

Whether your goal is to attain a certain weight by the end of the month or you want to increase the weight that you can deadlift, motivation is the driving process that helps us achieve our determined target. Running is an excellent way to boost your confidence and improve your motivation as it makes you feel worthy from within and you consider yourself a significant individual who is capable of attaining a set target.

  1. Get Rid Of Cardiovascular Problems

    As the body ages, cholesterol plaques keep on accumulating in the blood vessels and lead to the formation of thrombi. These thrombi may dislodge and circulate to other vessels thus blocking blood flow to the organs. Aging is also accompanied by atherosclerosis in individuals who take a diet rich in saturated fats. As a result of all this, coronary vessels are subjected to the risk of blockage causing subsequent risk of heart attacks and cardiac failure.

All these dreadful conditions can be put away by regular running and mild workout. Running helps keep the cholesterol profile within normal range and prevents the development of plaques. People who run every day have 30% lower risk of cardiovascular problems and 45% lower risk of heart attack. 30 minutes of brisk walking daily does wonders to keep the cardiovascular system healthy and fit.

  1. No More Strokes

A study revealed that people who have had strokes in the past showed more improvement with running 3 miles a day than with medications. The underlying phenomenon is quite simple. Running is proved to enhance blood flow in the vessels. The increased flow to the brain in turn supplies the required nutrients and the brain doesn’t suffer from ischemic injuries. All of this reduces the risk of future stroke or vascular damage in the nervous system.

  1. A Peaceful Night’s Sleep

Sleep is a highly coordinated phenomenon and a variety of neurotransmitters are involved in inducing sleep.

 

Regular running improves the internal biological clock (also called circadian rhythms) which helps you stay active during the daytime and sleep peacefully at night. It decreases the sleep latency and even improves the quality of sleep. This way you sleep instantly and don’t have to suffer from waking up at intervals. Isn’t this a real deal-breaker?

A study showed that it takes around four months of regular running to have a positive effect on sleep. Hence consistency is all this is required to enjoy the benefit of sound sleep.

  1. Free Boost Of Energy

Be it a hard day at work or you’re tired of studying all day long, energy drinks and caffeine is not what you need to stay active. Of course squeezing in a workout seems quite an impossibility at such a lazy time but that’s exactly what you should do.

Experts have proved that brisk walking or running has the power to decrease fatigue and boost energy levels by 20 percent. Interestingly, this benefit can only be attained via running and not by other high intensity workouts.

  1. More Strength, More Flexibility

Running is shown to increase the core strength of the body. It enhances stamina and improves the endurance level. Regular running leads to hypertrophy of the muscles and this is what makes your body more strong and flexible.

If jogging and stretching are not a part of your training regimen then it’s time to incorporate them. Running is as beneficial as intense cardio training and the resulting increased muscle bulk helps in the long run. Increased muscle mass also helps the body lose calories at a greater rate even when you’r
e not exercising.

Besides, running improves circulation of blood to the muscles and stretching makes your joints much more flexible.

  1. Better Performance In Life

Do you think running can help you perform better at work? A study proves so. It found that those employees who worked out before work or during their lunch hour reported feeling less stressed and being happier and more productive than days when they skipped a workout.

  1. Say Goodbye To Hypertension

 

Running 30 minutes daily can lower blood pressure around 4-9 millimeters of mercury within a few weeks. Running or similar exercises like swimming and dancing can be very helpful in lowering moderately high blood pressure and also in decreasing the vessel resistance to blood flow.

  1. No More Panic Attacks

Running releases neurotransmitters in the brain that simulate antidepressants. These neurotransmitters act on the dopamine and serotonin pathway in the central nervous system to combat depression, stress and all the negative feelings thus promoting peace of mind and relaxation.

Running also helps in psychological disorders which are sometimes caused by taking alcohol or drugs. It also reduces anxiety and alleviates mood, all thanks to the endorphins.

  1. Cholesterol Metabolism

Our body has different types of cholesterol out of which some are good for health while others promote cardiac diseases. Running increases the concentration of high-density lipoprotein in the blood which is also called good cholesterol. It also reduces LDL in the blood and prevents the formation of atheromas.

  1. Improved Sexual Function

Interestingly, runners make better partners because improved blood flow in the organs promotes reproductive health and improves sexual function.

  1. Live Longer

A research published in 2012 showed that 150 minutes of running per week can increase an average person’s life span by three to four years. That is pretty logical because when all your systems are working efficiently, there’s no way to catch any disease. A healthy mind and a healthier body go a long way than the one that has to fight disease.

  1. Most Economical Exercise

You don’t need a gym membership or expensive weight trainers to attain the perfect body figure and attain all the above mentioned benefits. Running is that part of the workout that just demands strong willpower and consistency, things that won’t demand your money.

Now that you’ve read the many benefits of running, tie your laces and set off to run a good three miles. Incorporate running in your lifestyle and I guarantee that you’d be amazed to see the awesome results. Cheers!

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