Real Talk: Running benefits

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The benefits of running are pretty amazing. You've never been a huge fan of running? You should read this article and face the truth: Running is an all-rounder for your good health. These running benefits are about to change your mind. Lace-up your running shoes and stalk taking advantage of the benefits running brings into your life.

Running benefits: Why you should start today

Running is good for your heart

Running is the king of cardio. Running even five to 10 minutes a day, at slow speeds (how does a nice 12-minute mile sound to you?) is associated with a drastically reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a landmark study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Compared with never-runners, regular runners have half the chance of dying from heart disease. Every time you run, you decrease your resting heart rate, so your heart doesn't need to work as hard.

That calorie burn though

I started running to lose weight which worked pretty amazing. The running benefits when it comes to burn calories are incredible. Running requires a lot of fuel (aka calories). In fact, the average 150-pound person will burn about 12.2 calories per minute running a 10-minute mile. And that's on flat terrain, we haven't discussed hills yet. Head outside where wind and hills up your effort and you can expect to burn even more.

Running Strengthens Your Joints

There are stories out there about running does destroy your knees in the long run and is absolutely horrible for your bones and joints. Running doesn't wreck your joints. Osteoarthritis (the most common type of arthritis), occurs when joint-cushioning cartilage starts to break down. The biggest osteoarthritis risk factor besides age? Body weight. Running benefits for your joints. How? Every time you pound the pavement, you stress your bones and cartilage, just like your muscles, causing them to spring back stronger. Also: running is a killer leg workout.

Obviously, you can't compare it with those bodybuilders do, but your body's biggest muscles are all in your legs, and running benefits all of them: your inner and outer thighs, your gluteus maximus, quads, hamstrings, and calves, Justice says. It's like a dozen leg workouts in one. Have you ever recognized that runners always have very toned legs? Well, another reason why you benefit from running.

The runner's high is real

I could have a bad week and just not feel it at all, but if I crush a really good run the runner's high is exactly what I need at that moment. When you run, your brain pumps out two powerful feel-good chemicals, endorphins and endocannabinoids. Sounds like some drug, right? Chemically, the endocannabinoids your body produces during a run aren't all that different from marijuana's mood-altering chemical, THC. The most studied mid-run endocannabinoid, called anandamide, was actually discovered when scientists were trying to figure out how pot gets people lit. So, there you go. Believe it or not - that feeling is amazing.

Talking about your core

As you might have seen in some of my pictures I have built a very strong core over the years. Your abs do benefit from running as well. Running works not only your six-pack rectus abdominis, but also the deeper core muscles including your obliques, erector spinae, and transverse abdominis. They are responsible for sucking in your gut, stabilizing your spine, and transferring power between your swinging arms and legs. Running benefits statistics show that if you're consistent with your running training you'll benefit a lot when it comes down to abs, a strong core and low body fat.

You can run everywhere

Another really great benefit of running is that a run always fits in. Do you have to travel a lot because of your job? No problem, just bring your running gear and lace-up. You won't need a gym to get your workout in. That's the good thing about running. You don't need much and it doesn't cost you much -all you have to invest is in a good pair of running shoes, dedication and consistency.

Runners are amazing

Within my journey as a runner, I have met the nicest, most inspiring people ever. Running benefits in a way that is hard to explain here. You'll get so much more out of it than just less body fat or a nice body, great times in races or strong legs. I have learned so much from other runners because the running community is a strong one and the bond of running is endless. Benefit from running through all the good vibes you'll get in and all the support from other runners. This by the way has to lead me to a good amount of confidence which is another great benefit of running.

Me time

I wrote about how running helps me solving my problems a few months ago. Running is a stress reliever and does count as some form of meditation that can boost your gray matter, improve focus, and fight depression and anxiety. Running means me time and does help a lot to disconnect from the world and just let it go.

Do you want to start running? I offer online and personal running coaching. Find out more.
Why you can trust Sabrina Wieser
Runningbrina is committed to bringing you unbiased ratings and information. Her editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Sabrina uses data-driven methodologies to evaluate all products, so all brands are measured equally.
  • Most featured running blog, past 6 years
  • USATF certified running coach
  • Experienced endurance athlete
  • 7 marathons

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