Running – based on studies, it appears to be the proverbial fountain of youth. Scientists continue to discover the health benefits that come with running on a regular basis.
For beginners, it is important to develop a suitable running program designed to maximize health gains and minimize injuries. For example, on week 1, your workout will consist of 1-minute warm-up, 2-minute running, 2-minute walk, and 1-minute cool down repeated 7 times. On week 2, your workout will consist of 1-minute warm-up, 3-minute running, 1-minute walk, and 1-minute cool down repeated 7 times.
#1 Faster Weight Loss
Cardiovascular exercise is proven effective in burning calories and fat, thus, their importance in weight loss programs. But these weight loss-related effects are not just present during the running session itself.
These effects continue well after you have stopped running, an effect known as afterburn among runners and excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC). Think of it as exercising even when you are resting.
The result: Faster weight loss that, when coupled with strength training, a healthy diet, and sensible lifestyle habits, leads to a better body and mind.
#2 Stronger Bones
Stop believing the old wives’ tale that running ruins your knees. In fact, running can strengthen your knees as well as your joints and bones! The assumption here is that you adopted the safety measure related to lessening the risks of bone injuries during a run.
Why is this so? Running increases bone mass that, in turn, aids in stemming age-related bone loss.
#3 Happier Mood
Have you observed that regular exercise lifts your mood even from the darkest blues? Many runners even assert that running is their drug of choice, an observation that scientists have discovered to have basis in fact. Running causes the brain to make neurochemical adaptations in its reward pathways in ways similar to addictive drugs.
Indeed, it is not just the so-called runner’s high that makes for a happier mood; the high is brought by the release of hormones known as endocannabinoids. In many studies about the benefits of cardiovascular exercises like running, participants with major depressive disorder experienced instant lifting of their mood after exercising.
Even just 30 minutes of running 5 days a week within 4-3 weeks can decrease anxiety and stress attacks.
#4 Sharper Memory
Being with it instead of losing it. This is yet another of the health benefits of running – making your memory sharp despite your mature age.
Studies have shown that regular exercise like running wards off the effects of age-related mental decline especially in cognitive functions like selective attention, task switching, and working memory. Scientists have also discovered that regular exercise boosts brain function in areas like attention, concentration, and organization.
#5 Better Sleep
Insomniacs fell asleep faster on days when they ran – 17 minutes after hitting the pillows as against 38 minutes on days when they did not run. Plus, they also slept an extra hour on days when exercise was part of their routine.
It may just be the physical exertion coupled with the sense of accomplishment that made insomniacs fell asleep faster and sleep longer but whatever it is, you can run on days when sleepless nights are in the horizon.
#6 Better Erections
Men who burned 3,000 calories, at least, per week – the equivalent of 5 hours of running or an hour each day of jogging) are 83% less likely to experience the symptoms of severe erectile dysfunction. Of course, running does not automatically equate to better erections but just imagine the boost it will give to your sex life considering your weight loss, stamina, and endurance.
Most important, running adds years to your life! With all of these reasons, it’s time to get on your running shoes and start running.