Running has long been a popular and friendly physical activity. Whether you’re just a newbie or already an elite runner, this healthy type of exercise certainly offers several benefits not only for your body but also your brain. So pick up this habit for the positive immediate and long-term effects together with guidance as below.
What are the benefits of running?
1. It strengthens your knees and back
Obviously running increases the chance for your legs and hips to exercise more than normal. You may hear people claiming that this impact sport makes a negative impact on the joints of the knees. However, some researches show a sedentary lifestyle can actually lead to worse knee and back issues.
Studies have found that for recreational runners, the risk of having knee arthritis is less than inactive people. Also, knee health in middle-aged runners was known to be improved in a study. and it is the same for the back. So, the advantages are there.
2. It reduces the risks of heart disease
Running is an excellent form of exercise to make your heart stronger. If you run at a moderate or vigorous level, your resting pulse rate is lower, your heart pumps better and intakes more oxygen. This means a higher amount of blood can be pumped per beat and your heart will have a longer and healthier life, which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
3. It boosts your mental energy and reduces depression
When you do some running on a regular basis, your body releases ‘happy’ chemicals called endorphins and serotonin in your brain. This helps to lift your mood up and boost your mental health. The stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in your body are also reduced, which lowers the risk of depression.
4. It lowers the risk of cancers
Experts say that people involved in physical activities at the highest levels can reduce by 7 percent the risk of any kind of cancer compared to those working out the least. An active lifestyle can keep your weight in control and that reduces the risk of numerous cancers such as breast, endometrial , kidney, oesophageal cancer, myeloid leukaemia and myeloma.
5. It improves brain’s health and reduces the risk of Alzheimers
Running is said to boost the growth and connection of nerve cells and pump blood to different brain’s regions. A vigorous run can raise higher levels of a brain-derived protein in your body. All of these factors mean you can improve your decision-making, higher thinking, learning (specifically in verbal skills), memory and mental sharpness.
6. It helps to lose weight
It’s known that a number of people struggle with overweight by the time they’re 40, which can lead to the risk of obesity, diabetes, or depression. Running is a wonderful form of physical exercise for losing weight as it burns and burns calories right during the workout and long after that. You can reduce your waist size targeting that belly fat by running. A simple easy start, huh?
7. It makes you look and feel younger
Yes, you can actually look younger than your age since this physical activity, if done regularly, can delay the biological aging process. In fact, running helps to refresh your skin and keep it healthy. Not only that, your heart at the age of 70 can even be 30 years younger if you keep this regular exercise routine. Now who wouldn’t like that?
8. It helps you live longer
In addition to the youth that it brings, running can literally add more years to your life. A study shows that runners can live 3.5 to 4.5 years longer. Also, they face a lower risk of disabilities in comparison with those who don’t work out.
What are some tips for new runners?
So if you’re a new runner and you have decided to give this simple useful exercise a try, take a look at the 5 incredible tips below for great workout sessions.
1. Start out easy
As much as you want to get out there fast and run hard, it’s better not to run too much too soon. Start out three times a week and each time can be just 15 or 20 minutes, running, walking or combining both. Run at your comfortable pace, which means you can still catch your breath to talk while running. Also, you should run short intervals first so there is time for you to recover a bit.
2. Get the right trainers
That’s right! They don’t need to be super cool or extremely expensive, but the right running shoes can give support to your feet and prevent soreness and potential injuries. Some key features to be paid attention when choosing running trainers are the fit, heel height, cushioning, outsole and motion control.
3. Other workouts are essential
Running certainly has a lot to do with your legs and the joints in them. So if you keep running and running only, there is a risk that these joints or their ligaments will get ‘broken’. It’s important to strengthen the muscles around them by doing exercises such as lunges, deadlifts and weighted step ups. This way you will have your core strength plus the joy of doing something else for a change (other than running).
4. Warm up and cool down properly
It’s always necessary not to skip warm up nor cool down exercises when you go for a run. Warming up opens up blood vessels so that your muscles get sufficient oxygen. It increases your muscles’ temperature so they can be flexible. Warm-up and cool-down help to raise and slow down your heart rate gradually, so there’s less pressure on your heart and blood pressure.
5. Set goals to stay strong
People might have different reasons to start running, but setting meaningful goals will make you a better runner and stay motivated. When you’re new, it’s best to set achievable goals by starting small and slowly work your work to the top. It can be a 15 minute run or getting to the top of the hill that day. Also, be realistic. You need time for training to complete a 5K first, before a 10K and a half Ironman, for instance.