Running Provides Health Benefits

Why do individuals choose to run? I’ve always considered it painful, boring and exhausting, yet so many people choose to do it.  The popular belief is that most people run to get in shape, and while this is true, there are several other health benefits that can be associated with running. Not only can running improve the health of your body but, it can be healthy for your mind as well. Here are 5 good reasons to choose to run.

Lose weight and get in shape. Running is a superior exercise for maintaining or losing weight.  Studies have shown that a combination of both diet and exercise can be the most effective way to lose weight, since it creates a loss of body fat and an increase of lean tissue. Running, an intensive cardiovascular exercise, allows an individual to burn approximately 100 calories for each mile ran. Other activities, such as cycling and walking, only burn a portion of those calories in the same period of time.

However, the speed at which a person runs has no bearing on the amount of calories they burn, weight is the important factor. When you have more weight to propel when you run, you burn more calories. A 150-pound person burns fewer calories in a half hour running at 5 mph then a 175-pound person burns in the same amount of time. As a person begins to lose weight they will start burning fewer calories per mile until the runners weight will eventually stabilize. Some runners combat his issue by using a weighted running vest when they run. The additional weight allows them to continue to burn more calories.

Improves Health. Studies have shown that running can increase a person’s good cholesterol and lung function. Additionally, running can improve your immune system, decrease the risk of developing blood clots, reduce the risk of heart attack, reduce the risk of stroke and may reduce the risk of breast cancer in women.

Increases Confidence. Running provides more than physical benefits as it increases your confidence and self-esteem.  When you create and achieve goals, you have a greater sense of empowerment which provides a happier feeling.

Relieve Stress. Stress can cause loss of appetite and sleep. Studies have shown that running is a natural tranquilizer and by running you force the body to exert excess energy and hormones. Running forces the body to function better and improves sleep quality, appetite, and relaxation.

Eliminate Depression. If you’re depressed you probably won’t feel like running however, the psychological benefits of a run far exceed the physical demands.  In fact, running is quite often utilized as a treatment for clinical depression or other psychological disorders. Running can make a person less tense, depressed, fatigued, and less confused. There are few things in this world that can more rapidly treat depression than exercise.

Running is not only beneficial to the mind and body it also create a place to escape the problems of daily life. The 5 reasons I’ve listed for running is only a portion of the benefits you can receive from running.  Once you begin a running program you will find you feel better, have more energy and can stay focused.

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