5 Amazing Health Benefits of Running, According to Science

Photo: Greatist

Running or jogging are both forms of aerobic exercises and as such present the body with quite a number of amazing health benefits. Although coming from a sedentary lifestyle running can be hard, but is more than worth the effort. With apps like Couch to 5K combined with benefits like these, there is no reason not to start running today.

1. Running and Your Cardiovascular Health

Running has been shown to be excellent to help keep your cardiovascular system in a good condition. It is an aerobic exercise which uses up the fatty acids and the carbohydrates in the diet for energy needed during the activity.

A runner usually has a slow resting pulse rate and an inversely high utmost consumption of oxygen. Studies on the heart have shown that the hearts of people who run pump a larger volume of blood per heartbeat and are more efficient. Running also has progressive effects on a lot of coronary risk factors, which is a possible explanation as to why chronic endurance exercise is usually linked with lower rates of coronary death.

2. Running and Your Mood

People who run all agree that running alleviates their mood regardless of what they are feeling before running. Some people even use running purposely to improve their mood. Sometimes it is even recommended by some therapists. This is because of the common condition is known as “runner’s high”. “Runners High” is caused by the rush of feel-good hormones called endocannabinoids.

One study showed findings by researchers that even a single instance of simple exercise such as walking on the treadmill for half an hour could instantly uplift the mood for an individual suffering from a major disorder of depression.

3. Running and Your Joints

Contrary to popular belief running does not increase the risk of osteoarthritis. It has been found that people who run have a 50% less chance of suffering from knee osteoarthritis as compared to those who walk. Every time your foot lands on the ground when running, your bones and cartilage are stressed, just like the muscles. This causes them to spring back stronger, which is a benefit for the runner. Low-impact exercises such as walking, elliptical workouts or swimming do not provide the individual with this benefit.

4. Running can help promote weight loss

There are studies which have shown that inactivity is a major factor which contributes to obesity and weight gain. Energy is spent by the body through food digestion, exercising and maintenance of body functions such as breathing and heartbeat. Metabolic rate is lowered by reduced calorie intake which is experienced when one is dieting. This lowering of the metabolic rate slows down weight loss. In contrast, running increases the metabolic rate and consequently burns up more calories and help the individual to lose weight.

5.Running can help promote meditation

When running, many people find the chance to concentrate and focus on themselves. Running helps one to take some time away from stressful activities which is beneficial also in depression management. Recent studies show that meditation helps to boost the gray matter, fight depression and anxiety and improve focus. Therefore, running counting as meditation helps the individual to enjoy the benefits that come along with meditation.