For those of you who already run on a regular basis, you know just how beneficial it is to your health. But for those who do not run or are currently considering getting into running, you may not know just how amazing it is to run. Sure it can be tiring and difficult to do on a regular basis, but once you get past the initial hesitance, you will wonder how you ever lived without it. In the hopes of persuading those on the fence about joining our cause, I figured I would highlight some of the most important health benefits running offers.
One of the more obvious benefits of running is weight loss. It’s usually the main reason people get into running in the first place. But many people do not realize that it is truly the best form of burning off those pesky calories (aside from cross-country skiing). It’s a great way of not only losing weight, but maintaining a consistent weight as well.
Depression is a serious affliction that affects millions of people in America alone. You wouldn’t think it at first, but running is a natural antidepressant. If you’re ever feeling sad, lonely or flat out depressed, why not go out for a quick run? Or a long one, whichever works best for you. When running, the brain releases endorphins that will begin to pick you up. These are the same endorphins responsible for the well-known “runner’s high.” It should be noted that running is more than likely not a cure for severe depression, and should not be substituted for any prescribed antidepressant medication.
Strengthens Your Body
As with all forms of exercise, running will improve the strength of your body, or at least the muscles you will use during running. More specifically, running does a fantastic job on strengthening your knees. Don’t believe the myth that running will wear down your knees; it won’t. In fact, studies show that running does the exact opposite. It increases your bone mass and can help to prevent age-related bone loss.
Running is not only good for your health, it’s just plain fun. Go out there and enjoy the beauty of nature or run inside. Regardless of your venue, running is one of the greatest things you can do. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!