Is Running Good for You?
The million dollar question on everybody’s lips? If anyone is going to invest a lot of time and effort into something that’s hard work, they are going to do it for a sound reason. Hence, the reason people ask: is running good for you? Which roughly translates into, is running good for my health and fitness?
Plus, if I’m going to flog myself like a race horse, am I going to do all of the following?
- Lose weight and trim my waistline.
- Improve my muscle tone and bone density.
- Feel better both mentally and physically.
- There are countless other benefits to running such as making new friends and above all enjoying yourself.
You’ll be pleased to hear that the short answer to the question is a resounding yes. Running is good for you!
Felling Depressed? Get out for a Run
We all know that running is good for you, plus most of us are aware that meditation is relaxing and good or the mind. Combine the two and, hey, what do you know, you have a super awesome double-edged weapon to attack your low mood and increase your confidence and self-esteem.
Obviously don’t do them both at exactly the same time, you need to be lying down to meditate, but you can be mindful when running. It’s a really effective technique to concentrate on your breathing while running. Match your strides to your breathing rate. This will ensure that you have both enough oxygen to fulfil your energy requirements, but equally as importantly you will be flushing waste gases like CO2 from your body and lungs.
Boost Your Brain Power With Running
This recently released study by professors writing for London’s Journal of Physiology show that runners and joggers can enhance their cognitive skills. The brains capacity to learn is enhanced through increased neuron reserves; also the brain becomes more efficient at tapping into those reserves.
When you are fit and healthy your blood runs better, among other seemingly ordinary, but hugely important functions that the good old red stuff does for us. It provides us with oxygen – the key to life. It removes carbon – our waste gas. Crickey, blood is the equivalent of the best motor racing oil that Lewis Hamilton uses driving his Mercedes Formula 1 car. Only it’s for our body and it doesn’t cost us a thing.
The least we an do is look after it. We might not need oil changes like Lewis, but we need to eat the correct foods, such as pomegranate seeds to ensure that it runs sweet as, erm, a nut.
Runners Have Better Memories than Sedentary Folks
You’ll be stoked to hear that running improves the health of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is responsible for memory. Running has the effect of increasing the size of the hippocampus. This has the knock-on effect of boosting our learning and memory functions.
It’s also been noted that running, jogging, whether it’s on the treadmill or along a windswept beech has the crucial ability to fight back against Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. What’s not to like about such news? Absolutely awesome if you ask me. Running is literally a little bit of Superman in each and every one of us, all we have to do is activate such functions by getting out there and blitzing the miles off.
Running Helps Keep You Younger and Sharper
As we get older, our health – both physically and mentally – starts to decline. It’s called the natural ageing process and it hits everyone, even if you’re the fittest sports person in the world.
The good news is by staying fit and healthy, like being an active runner, you can stave off the nasty ageing effects and stay sharper for longer. Another great benefit that running has to offer us.
It’s cool that all these special benefits that running provides us would cost literally thousands if they were sold as beauty products. Can you imagine a tin of cream that stopped you from ageing? It would sell out in the first week because the Kardashians would be all over it.
Jogging and Running Help Your Heart
Yes, there’s even more good news. Runners are less likely to suffer from blocked arteries and nasty things like seizures. Most active runners have lower cholesterol and blood pressure. All these little bits and bobs add up to make us feel much healthier, fitter, faster and with more energy to attack our daily lives.
It doesn’t matter whether you are shopping, cleaning the house or climbing a ladder at work – we all like to have more energy than not enough. There’s nothing worse than feeling lethargic.
Keep logging your miles in your diary and noting how you feel. You can even record blood pressure readings then you’ve got a whole trophy case of vital information and statistics that you can utilise to make your fitness regime more effective. If you are unlucky enough to come down with a cold or virus, look at your training log and you can see whether you’ve been over doing your running mileage.
Too much information is like too much energy. They’re both good to have and we don’t need to use them all at once.
Running is Good for Your Blood Pressure
According to the American Heart Association running is good for you. The AHA state that although everyone is different and we all have varying needs. You should aim for 150 minutes of brisk exercise each week in order to keep our blood pressure levels in a safe range. This will lower our risk of stroke.
When we get fitter, our heart gets bigger and it does more work with less beats. Instead of pumping ridiculously fast and pushing blood through tight arteries and veins, our heart has a much easier day in the office when it can relax a little.
Everyone knows that a strong and healthy heart is essential in having a long and productive life. It really is tragic when a friend dies of a heart attack. It’s something that happens instantly and we never have a clue that we are about to lose a loved and valued friend or colleague. Stay ahead of the curve and make sure that your family doesn’t have to suffer the cruel twist of a heart attack.
Even if you survive one you may end up with permanent brain damage from a stroke. Both heart attacks and strokes are equally devastating. In a stroke, a blockage can stop your brain from getting the oxygen it requires. Otherwise, in a heart attack your full blood supply is turned off so no part of your body, including your brain, will be getting any oxygen.
Running Strengthens Your Knees
Contrary to popular opinion, running actually strengthens your knees, it doesn’t destroy them. Studies show that running and physical exercise strengthen our muscles and pounding the pavements, or any hard ground especially, improves bone density of time.
If you are a newbie runner and start off doing too much too soon, then you might suffer from shin splints, which are really painful. All you need to do is slacken of a bit with your mileage and increase your rest periods. Let your bones build up strength naturally. Be patient. Everything in moderation as they say.
What people might be getting mixed up with is when someone hasn’t been taking care of themselves before and after running. If they don’t stretch off then they might get an imbalance in their muscles, which could cause irregularities in your running form and have a knock-on effect.
Make sure that you occasionally get a full sports massage before a race or to loosen your body up. This is super important about 7 to 10 days before a race then get one afterwards.
Stretching should be done with your warm up before and after every run. It’s super easy and simple when you get into the hang of it. Chop and change your stretching routine because you don’t want to let staleness creep in. If it does then there is the possibility that you might get bored and your routine will lose its effectiveness.
By alternating stretching patterns, you are hitting your body and tendons from slightly different angles. This is the correct way to ensure your body is fully developed and no stone is left uncovered. It’s a bit like standing cleaning your car from one position – you obviously look at it from different angles to make sure that you haven’t missed any bits.
Running Can Reduce Cancer Risks – Although it Can’t Cure Them!
While running is our best free miracle worker that can do many wonderful things, unfortunately it can’t cure cancer. However, it is still thought to prevent or fend off the likelihood of people actually coming with cancer.
Cancers of the prostrate, lung and lining of the uterus have all show to be less active in people that take up running. This is great news.
There are a plethora of other forms of cancer that humans are less-susceptible to if they stick to their rigorous exercise regime.
The fitter you are and the more healthy your diet, the quicker food will pass through your bowel so you haven’t got nasty stools stuck inside you for longer periods of time than necessary. We all know that if you leave it too long before going to the toilet, the stools get harder and drier and it’s more painful to pass on the toilet. This clearly isn’t very nice for your colon which has the thankless task of storing poop for us. At least we can do our bit to help the colon out and go to the toilet daily if possible.
So You Want to Live Longer? Running Can Help You
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that there are twice as many deaths from a lack of exercise, as there are logged for people who are overweight or obese.
Running and other forms of physical exercise, combined with a healthy diet and sleep pattern, are all part of the master craftsman’s toolkit for people who want to live longer.
Right so you know the answer. Get fit, stay fit. Eat right and stay lean. Sleep well with your 7 to 9 hours on a night and hopefully you will be rewarded with extra years of happiness and joy. Oh, did I mention, stay in your healthy weight range. It’s important that you keep your body fat low rather than go by your BMI, body mass index, which is only a guide that doctors use to tell people in a quick way whether they are fit or obese.
Running can do a whole host of great things for us. It can help improve our physical fitness as well as our mental fitness. It releases endorphins, which is known as runner’s high.
It can help improve our memory and elevate our mood as well as stabilise our mood.
Running and jogging can help stave off unnecessary weight, keep our body fat low and our BMI statistics inside the healthy range that a doctor is happy with.
Then there’s the positive effects of reducing or slowing the ageing process. And the fact it can prevent cancer.
Let’s be honest, running is just the BOSS! It’s literally a life saver. Not to mention it doesn’t even charge us for this superb service. It’s all free and all we need to do is keep on educating ourselves by reading articles at How to Run Faster and Longer.
Oh, don’t forget to join our Facebook Group where you can meet and chat with other like-minded runners and fitness friends.
Five More Runner’s Reads
- Places to Run Near Me
- Learn How to Run
- Sprinting for Beginners
- Running Apparel for Beginners
What’s You Favourite Part About Running?
I hope you liked reading this article. As always, please feel free to give your feedback in the comments below. It’s always great to hear from our regular readers, as well as new ones from all over the world.
Running is truly a worldwide sport that brings people together in many positive ways. If only the rest of the world would be as peaceful as the running community – I think we can learn them a thing or two!
Until next time, stay safe, stay positive and run free. 🙂