“Running is medicine,” nothing can be closer to the truth than this adage. Besides, what can guarantee you of a healthy body, perfect mental health and stunning looks more than running daily can? Still not convinced? Well, experts say that our bodies’ shape is tailored for running endurance. The length of our legs, the shape of our hips and feet and the ability to sweat enable us to run a mile after another. That is probably why running is linked to numerous benefits to our brains and bodies. Get used to running, and if you haven’t started, here is why you should.
- 1- Runner’s high is real
Looking to get the “feel good hormones”? Running prompts the brain to release endorphins and endocannabinoids, which are the hormones responsible for positive mood. Have you noticed that the latter hormone sounds like cannabis? This is because chemically, the endocannabinoids that the human body produced when running are no different from the marijuana’s mood changing chemical; THC. The endocannabinoid that has been studied the most is known as the anandamide, which one can get after a mid-run, was discovered when scientists were investigating how people using pot get high. Now you know!
- 2- Running improves knee health
You are probably imagining that this is crazy considering that the knee is most used when running; right? Well, science has proven that running promotes knee length. Knee pain can even sideline a runner, and it is usually a sign of overtraining or the need to work on flexibility. Although you stop running because of knee pain, it never causes knee osteoarthritis. In one study that involved over 2,500 participants, the researchers established that the more one runs, the less likely the possibility of suffering osteoarthritis or knee pain. Although we cannot confirm that running causes less knee pain, it is correct to say that running strengthens bones, legs muscles and keeps BMI in check.
- 3- Running torches calories
For you to run, you must spend a lot of fuel, as in calories. An average person weighing 150 pounds requires about 12 calories per minute to run a 10-mile stretch. That is for flat terrain, implying that a hilly terrain would need more calories.
- 4- Running enhances the ability to focus
Young people benefit from running in that it helps them to sleep better and improves their physiological functioning. These facts are from a study involving 51 young people, where they were found to have enhanced psychological functioning and improved focus during the day, unlike their peers who did not run frequently. To get the benefits of running, the group ran at an average pace for 30 minutes a day for three continuous weeks. These benefits may apply to runners of any age.
- 5- Running can eliminate symptoms of depression
Depression is a major mental illness that causes disability. When you are feeling depressed, probably the last thing on your mind is to hit a run, but this should not be the case. If you do not have the psyche to run, consider taking a walk or jogging. Even a 30-minute run is enough to make you feel better. So, fighting depression does not have to be difficult, primarily if you result to running and jogging for positive effects.
- 6- Running promotes cardiovascular health
It’s no secret that aerobic activity is good for the heart, so the idea of running improving cardiovascular fitness is factual. The amazing thing is that you can receive these benefits without putting much effort. Running for as little as five minutes a day can add years to your life by enhancing your cardiovascular health, according to an article in the American College of Cardiology. The healthier one is, the healthier the heart tends to be. However, you should not run for extreme distances as this might overstress the heart.
- 7- Running significantly reduces your chances of death
30 minutes or more of aerobic exercise lessen your chances of dying from any cause significantly. Getting an hour or more of aerobic exercise has excellent results according to research. Those who conform to exercise guidelines are unlikely to develop several kinds of cancer too. The easiest way of meeting the requirements is by running. Now you have a reason to work on your running speed so that you can be the opposite of slow.
- 8- Running helps fight the age-related cognitive decline
If you are looking to keep your mind functioning at its optimum regardless of your age, running is one of the effective workouts to engage in. Research shows that aerobic exercise has significant cognitive benefits, and running is an aerobic exercise. For children, running enhances their focus and memory. As for adults, working memory has similar effects. Older adults experience a lot of cognitive benefits like task switching, attention, and memory.
- 9- Running reduces your risk of cancer
Although running does not cure cancer, it goes a long way in ensuring you do not get it in the first place. A review of 170 epidemiological studies by the Journal of Nutrition concluded that there was a strong link between aerobic exercise and lowering certain cancers. Most doctors prescribe running as a compliment to chemotherapy.
- 10- Running makes the brain resistant to stress
Stress is a healthy body functioning that helps us to react to emergencies. Unfortunately, excessive stress has adverse effects. People who run frequently have been found to have an enhanced ability to cope with stressful events. Scientists suspect that there is a relationship between running and levels of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and serotonin, which makes the brain to make new neurons.
Running is a vigorous aerobic exercise that can enhance your general health and help you achieve your fitness goals. You do not have to run fast for you to have an impact. As little as 30 minutes of walking and 10 minutes of running daily can impact your health significantly. All it takes is consistency. If you haven’t started, here is why you should hit the tracks and chase the health benefits of running daily.