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Blog Homepage > Five Big Benefits of Running

26/02/15

Whether you’re a running fanatic who enjoys nothing better than hitting the pavement or you’re someone who’d rather sit on the sofa with the soaps on, there’s no denying the benefits of running! Now that 2015 is in full swing and some of our resolutions may be falling by the wayside, there’s no better time to recommit to taking up that extra hobby. Given running’s many benefits, why not give it a go?

So just what are the benefits of running?

1. Running improves your health

If we were a superhero, we’d be Captain Obvious right now, but if we’re stating the benefits of running we might as well get the most obvious one ticked off the list. Research shows that running can raise the levels of good cholesterol in your body while also helping with lung function. Some experts say it’s also great for boosting your immune system, and running keeps your heart in tip-top shape as it helps to strengthen the muscle.

2. Running makes you happier

It’s well documented in medicine and health circles that even thirty minutes of exercise a day will help to make you feel better. One of the biggest benefits of running is the release of endorphins that it causes. It’s a chemical reaction that occurs, but even beyond that, studies show that exercise can alleviate anxiety and stress. Running is particularly good for the ‘runner’s high’, a rush of feel-good hormones. If you enjoy running or find it helps you focus, it can be a brilliant outlet for de-stressing or clearing your mind.

3. Running burns calories

Yes, another obvious one: exercise burns calories. But we’ve come with some added information. While much of the calories are burned while you work out, studies show that regular exercise boosts ‘after burn’—which is the number of calories you burn after you exercise. Running helps you burn calories even when you’ve stopped exercising. Scientifically, this is all to do with excess post oxygen consumption. Explanation aside, burning calories even when you’re finished exercising sounds like a win to us. Definitely a great benefit of running!

4. Running is good for staying sharp

Running, or any kind of exercise really, can help you to defeat the mental drain that comes with aging. Exercise is particularly good for memory and attention span. If you’re feeling less than sharp, going for a run every day can lead to an improvement in your concentration, your organisational ability, and your attention span.

5. Running can reduce the risk of some diseases

A study by the National Cancer Institute found that women who do some kind of vigorous activity (e.g. running or aerobics) had a 30% lower risk of breast cancer when compared to women who did no real exercise.

Taking up running clearly has plenty of benefits for your health. If you do decide to take up running, here are some quick tips:

  • Don’t eat directly before going running. It’ll lead to stitches. Stitches aren’t fun!
  • Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated
  • Start small and build up to running. If your life is mainly sedentary, start with a brisk walk and build up to a jog
  • If you’re listening to music, make sure it’s not too loud so you’re still alert to any traffic
  • Wear reflective material at night or early in the morning
  • Ask for expert advice when choosing your runners and shorts. Professionally fitted running shoes are far better for your feet than the battered pair of runners you bought a year and a half ago!

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