Studies have shown that exercising regularly has plenty of benefits for your health. Now, if you have not been really a fan of exercising, starting a new fitness habit could get quite difficult at first, but it shouldn’t be. With the right mindset and motivation, you can easily add a sustainable fitness routine to your everyday lifestyle.
Running is one of the most popular workouts out there — and for good reasons. It’s an easy yet challenging exercise that burns calories like crazy. Aside from that, running is a fun and entertaining activity that will test your willpower. Here are some reasons why should start making running a habit:
1. It can help you lose or maintain weight.
Running is a great activity to get yourself in good shape. Did you know that an hour of running can burn up to 850 calories? That’s right! Just imagine how much calories you can take out when you run four to five times a week. On top of the calories you shed during your workout, you actually keep burning them even after your run. Running regularly will increase the amount of calories you take of during the afterburn.
If weight loss is a big motivation for you to start running, then make sure you don’t give in the post-run pigout. We know, you get a high after finishing a good running session and you might wanna reward yourself with a sugary snack. However, you should remember that watching what you eat is just as important as exercising when trying to get in shape. Make it easier to resist your post-workout cravings by eating a healthy pre-run snack such as whole wheat toast with nut butter or a delicious bowl of whole grain cereals.
2. It’s good for your heart.
Running regularly strengthens many muscles in our bodies. But the most important muscle that benefits from running is your heart. Researches have shown that people who run even for just an hour every week can reduce their risk of developing a heart disease by almost half compared to non-runners.
Running is also a excellent way to manage your blood pressure. You can see better results when you intensify your workouts over time. When your heart becomes stronger, it lowers the heart strain during exercise. Aside from this, your resting heart rate will also lower with regular running training.
3. It will free your mind from stress.
Another excellent benefit you can get from running regularly is mental health improvement. Stress, whether acute or chronic, can have serious effects in your body. If you are in an environment prone to stress, you might want to consider running to keep your mind calm and relaxed. It has been proven in many studies that runners have an improved ability to cope with stress. Regular aerobic training help them build endurance and become more resilient to stress.
Running is also an effective way to clear your mind from worries. Similar to cycling or lifting, running gets your system into a rhythmic flow of repetitive actions that relaxes your brain. This is why it’s also ideal to go for a run at night to refresh your mind before hitting the sack. Aside from this, running also releases serotonin and endorphins which are the chemicals responsible for the popular concept of “runner’s high”. This is why you feel uplifted and generally in a better mood after a good running session.
4. You can do it anywhere.
One of the best reasons you should be running regularly is because it’s a workout you can do anywhere. Running is one of the few exercises that don’t require any equipment or gym membership is running. You can run anywhere, for free. You literally don’t have to spend a fortune for a gym membership just to have your regular running sessions.
You can easily do it in your public parks or sidewalk, you only need a good pair of running shoes. There are plenty of free running apps you can download on your phone to guide you and help you monitor your pace and distance. No more excuses of your gym being far from your place or the membership being too expensive.
5. You will enjoy better sleep.
Running regularly can improve your sleep in many ways. One of the most common reasons why people find it hard to sleep is stress and anxiety. As mentioned earlier in this article, running is an effective way to clear your mind from anxiety and improve your ability to cope with stress.
Many studies have proven that aerobic exercises such as running has helped people suffering from insomnia. In these studies, they have shown that after a few months of regular exercising, people adults with insomnia fell asleep more quickly, slept slightly longer, and had better sleep quality than before they began exercising.
6. Running will give you an energy boost.
Feeling tired and sluggish? Don’t have the energy to be productive for the day? Skip the extra cups of coffee and put on those running shoes. A quick run can boost your energy and decrease fatigue. The release of serotonin and endorphins after a running session will put you in a better mood that will help you improve your productivity.
In the long run, achieving overall body through regular exercise such as running will help your energy levels become more stable and you can develop a healthier mind that will improve your mental sharpness.
7. You can eventually cross out joining a marathon off your bucket list.
For most, running 26 miles sounds outrageous. But still you see how much people actually join and finish marathons, leaving you wondering if you can do it too someday. Well, if you make running a habit, you can eventually train for long distance runs. Finishing a marathon is definitely not easy, but with the right mindset and proper training, it is definitely not impossible.
If you don’t think finishing a marathon should be on your bucket list, think again. Running a long race is a test of will and finishing the run is actually very satisfying, and is an absolute bragging right. Joining marathons could be a good challenge for you. Signing up for a running event can actually help you stay motivated to continuously improve your running pace and distance.
8. Reduced risk of life-threatening diseases.
With all the health benefits you can get from running regularly, it’s no surprise that it could also help you prevent serious illnesses. There was a specific study that has proven that female runners reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by 30%. Since the aerobic nature of running improves your heart rate and blood pressure, this will also prevent you from obtaining a variety of heart diseases. By helping the arteries retain their elasticity and strengthening the heart, your chances of suffering a heart attack can be significantly reduced.
These days, doctors also recommend running for people who are on the early stages of of diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis to help them recover. If you are suffering from a serious health condition, it is strongly advised you consult a physician before going through strenuous physical activity such as running.