If you've never been a runner, you may be confused as to why some people practice it as though it is a religion. This list
, showing the health benefits of running, is so convincing, you'll be lacing up your shoes and breaking a sweat in spite of yourself! Have a look:
1. Running is good for your heart
Running is a cardio go-to for a reason. Even as little as 5-10 minutes of running a day can dramatically reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology
. Every time you run, you decrease your resting heart rate, so your heart doesn't need to work as hard, says exercise physiologist Greg Justice, founder of AYC Health & Fitness in Kansas City.
2. Runner's high is real
When you run, your brain produces two feel good substances, endorphins and endocannabinoids. Are you noticing a similarity to the word cannabis? Chemically, endocannabinoids are not that different from the high inducing chemical in marijuana, THC.
3. It strengthens your joints
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
study found that runners were half as likely to suffer from knee osteoarthritis compared with walkers. Every time you pound the pavement, you stress your bones and cartilage, just like your muscles, causing them to spring back stronger, explains Janet Hamilton, CSCS, an exercise physiologist with Running Strong in Atlanta. Low impact exercises don't build bone in the same fashion.
4. Running torches serious calories
Running takes a lot of fuel. The average 150-pound person will burn about 12.2 calories per minute running a 10-minute mile, Hamilton says. That's running on a flat ground too so if you want to up your calorie burn, hit some hilly terrain!
5. Running is a good leg workout
Your biggest muscles are in the legs and running works every one of them. It is like doing all your leg exercises at once.
6. Running works your core
Running is not only good for your six pack muscles but also for your deeper core muscles like the obliques, erector spinae, and transverse abdominis, which are responsible for sucking in your gut and stabilizing your spine.
7. You can always fit it in
Whatever your time and location constraints may be, you can always fit in a run. You don't need a gym membership or a lot of time. You can do it anywhere and at any time. 10 minutes is all you need, no excuses.
8. Runners are awesome
The community of runners is tight and strong. "I can't think of a better place to find wellness-focused people than a running group," says Debora Warner, founder and program director for Mile High Run Club, a running-only fitness studio in New York City. "Whenever I'm on the trails and pass someone, I'm always met with a smile and a nod or hello."
9. Running counts as meditation
"Many runners find that the time alone allows them to think and problem solve," Hamilton says. "Taking a run-break from a stressful project can help you return feeling refreshed and insightful." Meditation may improve your focus and help with anxiety and depression. So, you are getting in shape AND improving your mental faculties. A win all around.
10. You can do it right now
"With running, there's not much of a 'learning curve' like there might be for other fitness activities like group dance classes, Olympic lifting, CrossFit, or yoga," Hamilton says. "Running's also not as form-dependent as swimming, and because running is a such a natural motion, if you don't overthink it, your reflexes will just kick in." What are you waiting for?
Are you a runner? Why do you run? Share with us.
Source: Fitness Magazine