June 1st, 2023
When it comes to exercise, there are a lot of options. Running is one of the more popular forms of cardiovascular exercise because you can do it just about anywhere and anytime. As an added bonus, you don’t need special equipment, so it’s easy and inexpensive to get started. Just put on a pair of supportive shoes and you’re ready to go.
The thing about running is that most people aren’t indifferent about it—either you love it or you hate it. If you’re not quite in the “I love it” camp yet, you may be after you consider the benefits you can reap from this activity.
8 Benefits of Running
- It’s a great stress-reliever. Different people have different ways of dealing with stress—some good and some not so good. Running is a great way to blow off some steam and reduce stress. As you’re pounding the pavement, your body loosens up, your blood starts flowing and your mind has a chance to regroup and recharge.
- It may improve your memory. It may be hard to see the connection between your brain and running, but the activity gets your heart pumping and your blood circulating. This can boost the size of your hippocampus, the part of your brain responsible for memory.
- It’s good for your bones and joints. Since running is a weight-bearing exercise, it helps keep your bones stronger as you age. What you may be surprised to hear, however, is that running is also good for your joints. Many people think running wreaks havoc on joints, but it may actually strengthen joints and the muscles around them, making it less likely you’ll have arthritis.
- It may help you sleep better. Many people find that their sleep improves when they run. Just don’t do it too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake rather than helping you snooze.
- It’s good for your heart. Running may improve your heart health. It makes your heart stronger, lowers your resting heart rate and can reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It may boost your immune system. This aerobic activity has been shown to boost your immune system. In fact, one study showed that people who ran at least 5 days a week lowered their chance of getting an upper respiratory tract infection by 43 percent.
- It makes you feel better. Ever hear of the runner’s high? It’s really a thing. The endorphins released when you run can boost your mood, give you more energy and even lessen pain. That feel-good feeling is why many runners love to run—some even feel like they can’t live without it.
- It’s easy to get started. There are no major skills you need to master in order to run. All you need is a willingness to try. If your fitness level is such that you don’t feel ready to run, start out by walking. Then add intervals of running and walking as you build up your stamina. Before you know it, you’ll become a runner!
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