Most people start running to lose those few extra pounds, or to maintain that ideal body weight. Running soon becomes their exercise of choice for physical fitness.
Running requires a lot of energy from the body. Using the large leg muscles, as well as virtually every other muscle in the body, running burns more calories than nearly any other form of exercise. (just a tad fewer than cross-country skiing.)
Because of this, it is the perfect exercise for those looking to lose weight fast, or if you just want to stay slim and trim. It is also a great choice for overall good health – body and mind!
Running and Your Brain
Running is very good for the mind. Many of us find peace and relaxation while running; it helps clear your head. Research has shown that folks who participate in regular running report they are happier in general, than those who take part in no exercise, or other less strenuous forms of exercise.
The stress relief that runners feel is related to the hormones called endorphins that are released when you run, and a fantastic way to treat depression or…to just feel great!
Those who run on uneven surfaces such as hiking trails find that their coordination increases in addition to the many other benefits they receive from the sport.
People running on these surfaces have better control over their body movements due to the concentration they must put into keeping themselves upright.
Running Helps Everyone
When you choose to run in one of the many charitable marathons, (or walks) you not only receive a multitude of health benefits, but also that warm and fuzzy feeling of satisfaction in the knowledge that you’ve helped others with their particular affliction.
It may sound a bit corny, but it really does bring a remarkable feeling of health and well being, and gives you a much more positive outlook on life.
A Great Choice for a Healthy Heart
Running is also a great choice for those who want to increase their cardiovascular health. During running, the arteries get a tremendous workout. The heart has to work harder during this activity to pump blood throughout the entire body.
Frequent running makes the cardiac muscle stronger. This has the health benefit of lowering blood pressure and lessens the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
As we age
In addition to increased heart health, other muscles and bones also receive positive effects from the movements of being a runner. The physical demands placed on the bones and muscles of the body when a person runs; make them much stronger as well.
Additionally, a person is less likely to develop a disease such as osteoporosis as they age. The weakening of the bones and muscles as a person ages is not nearly as common in people who run, compared to those with a sedentary lifestyle.
It lowers the bad cholesterol, and raises the good kind, while increasing lung capacity, for better breathing and sounder sleeping. (runners sleep like babies)
Running is a very popular sport that a lot of people become actively involved in once they get started. When continued on a regular basis, it can be very pleasurable, great for health of body and mind, helps with coordination, stronger muscles and bones as we get older, and can lead to the rewards only attained by giving back to others.
People choose different types of exercise for a variety of different reasons. While some do prefer running, many may choose to lift weights, perform aerobics, swim or any of various other physical fitness activities.
The importance of physical fitness is such that, whether it’s for fun, fitness, or weight control, it’s not so much what you do, but how often and how long you do it.
The longer and the more often, the better…but you knew that!