Are you a runner?
Running is one of those things where you either love it or hate it. Some people tolerate it just to get their cardio in, but for the most part I can split my friends and family up into one of two categories: runners vs. non-runners. I consider myself a runner (many people tell me I look like a runner too) so needless to say I tend to find myself hanging around more runners than non-runners. But I have nothing against non-runners, I used to be a non-runner myself and can completely understand. Today I’m going to go over the top 5 benefits of running and throw in some tips for beginner runners.
Top 5 benefits of running
- Improves cardiovascular health. There’s a reason we call it cardio. Not only are you improving your fitness, you’re also improving your heart, veins, arteries, and blood. As your cardio health improves, your overall health increases. Blood is the main life source that carries everything your organs need.
- Improves your mood. There is a thing such as a runner’s high, and it’s real. This runner’s high is thanks to the rush of feel-good hormones called endocannabinoids. No matter what mood you begin with, after running it’s hard to not feel better. This study showed that even walking for 30 minutes lifts the mood of patients suffering from major depressive disorder.
- Strengthens your core and joints. You don’t only use your legs when running, you also use your core. Thanks to this, your core will be strengthened by running. Additionally, many studies (1, 2) show that running improves your bone and joint health, especially in youth.
- Burns calories. Cardio is a great way to burn calories and help aid in your weight loss goals. Whenever I feel extra-sluggish, I go for a quick 2 to 3 mile run to burn those extra holiday calories. It may be easier to just avoid the cookies, but I have terrible habits during the holiday season.
- Boosts energy. Whether you’re healthy or not, running can help anyone have more energy. Studies show that even if you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, exercise can help improve energy levels.
For more benefits of running, check out this article here. While most of these benefits are true, I would recommend doing more than just running for leg workouts. Running is good for your legs, but it doesn’t work all your leg muscles. Strength training is a must for all runners.
Tips for beginners
- Plan ahead: plan your runs strategically to avoid burnout.
- Run with a group: running with friends keeps you accountable.
- Get the right gear: running in the right shoes and using a good run tracker helps immensely.
- Pick up the pace: start out slow but gradually pick up the pace utilizing different warm ups.
- Cross train: don’t just run! Be sure to include strength training and other forms of cardio.
- Rest up: be sure to not over-train! Rest and recovery are needed when working out regularly.
- Fuel properly: eat healthy and smart. Runners need a health diet high in good protein, fat and fiber.
Why do you run? What are your top 5 benefits of running?