Are you one of the people who always procrastinate when it comes to running? You know it’s beneficial to you, but when it comes to the actual waking up and getting out the door, you seem to suddenly be drained and lethargic.
But did you know that running for just 5 minutes per day decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease by 45% and increases life expectancy by as many as three years.
So let’s take a further look at why running is beneficial for your health. Perhaps this is will be the little push you need to get started.
Here are the seven benefits of running, and why you should start today!
Keeps you physically fit
Running helps your body deliver oxygen to your muscles. It is a form of cardiovascular exercise that is a great way to keep in shape and remain fit.
Regular running or jogging can help your body burn calories. Maintain burning calories at a regular interval by running or jogging, while also making sure that the calories you consume every day are fewer than your recommended calorie intake. Before you know it you’ll see progress on how you are becoming fitter every day.
Running is widely recognized as the number one way to be physically fit and improve your cardiovascular health. But, this benefit is just the tip of the iceberg for you.
Lowers your blood pressure
It is a common misconception that running or any exercise for that matter can increase your blood pressure. The belief behind this is that when you get tired, your blood pressure will also skyrocket.
While it’s true that your blood pressure will naturally shoot up once you start moving and doing something tiring, as you build it into a habit, and keep it moderate, the body will adapt, ultimately keeping your blood pressure low.
Moderate exercises include jogging, swimming, brisk walking, dancing, and also doing some yard work can have a similar effect on your blood pressure.
Strengthens your immune system
When you jog, your body causes changes in white blood cells and antibodies. This means that regular moderate jogging can make your white blood cells circulate in your body at a faster rate, helping them detect illnesses.
In addition to that, the brief rise of the temperature during and after you jog can prevent bacteria in your body from growing.
This, along with the reasons mentioned above, ultimately strengthens your immune system, making you stronger and not susceptible to common colds and flu.
On a further note, too much exercise to improve immunity is just going to backfire on you. Keep everything moderate. Do what feels good.
Makes you mentally alert
When you subject yourself to high-intensity jogging or aerobics running, you can improve your brain’s capacity to to learn new things and retain learned information.
According to the study, these improvements in the brain are present in both high-intensity and low-intensity running. Both forms of running can boost the levels of protein brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and its neurotransmitter catecholamine. These two are associated with the brain’s cognitive functions.
This simply means that if you jog and you boost your brain’s ability to learn, you will naturally be mentally alert and ready for anything.
Reduces diabetes risk
Type 2 Diabetes is prevalent in our society and nothing helps it take hold faster than inactivity. Every 2 hours that you spend without moving can increase your chance of developing diabetes.
When your body is moving, the muscles are forced to move too. When the muscles are put to work, their ability to absorb glucose and use insulin improves, putting less stress on your insulin-making cells.
The good news is that you won’t need to be jogging for long distances and long amounts of time. It is suggested that 30 minutes of jogging everyday can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 30%.
Improves your mood
Running is a proven way to lift our mood and prevent depression. When you run, your brain releases two good chemicals – endorphins and endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids sound like cannabis or marijuana, right? It is because the mood altering chemical that is found in marijuana which is called THC, is not that different to the ones released by the brain.
Our body creates endocannabinoid at mid-run. Scientists discovered this when they were trying to figure out what marijuana has that makes people happy.
Decreases unhealthy food cravings
According to a study conducted by Scotland’s University of Aberdeen, an hour of running may actually suppress junk-food cravings.
MRI results from subjects who ran for 60 minutes on a treadmill showed that “following exercise, parts of the brain that control appetite began to ‘light up’ when viewing low-calorie foods but the rewarding aspect of high-calorie foods was suppressed,” says Daniel R. Crabtree, Ph.D.
The doctor also added that ultimately, there was a decrease in hunger and an increase in the feeling of fullness.
Last minute tips
Now that you know the benefits of running, you are surely excited to start, aren’t you? Knowing all the good things that you can gain by running is one thing, but actually running to get them all is another. So, are you ready to start?
Before you do, let us give you some last minute tips for that healthy run.
- Start with a warm up – Before actually running, or even starting your walk, make sure to stretch those muscles. Perform 3-5 minutes of stretching so that your muscles won’t be forced.
- Be kind to yourself – Do not overdo it. Start small and gradually work your way up.
- Get that footwear – Remember that your foot gear is the most important thing you have to prepare when you run. Running with the wrong kind of shoes can increase the risk of injuries.
- Start – The last tip is simply to start. Go and get yourself out there. Wake up, stand up, lace up those shoes, and actually start running.