One of the most popular sports in America is running. Nearly 60 million people in the United States and 7 million people in the UK run for exercise, to compete or just for fun. There are more than 30,000 running events every year.
Running is an awesome hobby that everyone should work into their lives! Read these reasons to run, put on your shoes, and start running today!
Reasons to Run
It’s easy to think of reasons why not to run. Perhaps your feet hurt and you don’t have running shoes.
Have your feet checked by Premier Podiatry and get their advice about running shoes. Buy some inexpensive running shoes and start running.
There are so many good reasons to run. Here are five of the most compelling.
1.Good Mental Health
The mental high that runners describe isn’t just for elite athletes. It’s an experience many regular runners have. Regular runners also find that a mild craving for this feeling helps motivate them to run regularly.
The so-called “high” is the result of naturally occurring endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that are released into the body when we take exercise. They produce feelings of wellbeing, positive mood and happiness.
The feeling of wellbeing can last hours or even days, as you can see by the pic of me in Istanbul, the day after running the Istanbul marathon. The beauty of this “feel-good” drug is that it is natural and not harmful. It helps keep away feelings of low mood and even depression.
Research has found a positive link between physical activity and self-esteem. The mental health benefits are clear. Running makes you feel good about yourself.
- Meet People
Running can be a great way to meet people and build your social circle.
Running clubs promote running and often encourage people to run together. This is really helpful for motivation but it’s also an opportunity to meet other like-minded people.
There are dating apps that match people who share an interest in running. Find a life partner or a running buddy while keeping fit.
You may find that a few work colleagues will get together to run at lunchtime or after work. This is a great option for busy executives, time-stretched parents, and lonely runners alike. It’s a social activity but without the downside of meeting over dinner or in a bar.
Work-life balance is a challenge for many people. Integrating regular exercise into their working life is one way to achieve it. Some employers even promote it because healthy workers have less time off, are more productive, and are happier.
- Keep Fit
The obvious reason for running is to keep fit. You might be surprised by the range of health benefits experienced by runners.
Running improves your heart health. A strong heart means you can effectively pump blood carrying oxygen throughout the body. Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease so running regularly can help to protect against heart attack.
Running also improves blood pressure and can be part of a strategy to reduce high cholesterol. Both high blood pressure and high cholesterol are potentially life-shortening symptoms. By reducing them you could be extending your life and your quality of life too.
Weight-bearing exercise, such as running helps increase bone density. Poor bone density is a symptom of osteoporosis. This is a debilitating disease that can lead to curvature of the spine and easily damaged bones in later life.
If you are un-fit you can have feelings of sluggishness or tiredness that are not explained by loss of sleep or overexertion. Everyday life makes you exhausted and lacking in energy. Running and other forms of exercise reverse this feeling.
Running can make you feel energized. After the initial recovery from your exertions, you feel energetic and full of enthusiasm for life. Physical fitness gives you greater capacity to take on the world and its challenges.
- Lose Weight
Most weight-loss diets recognize that the way to reduce weight is to change the balance between calorie intake and burning of calories. When you eat more calories than you burn your body stores some of the excess calories in the form of fat. It’s this fat can be a threat to our health.
Intake of Calories
Most diets focus exclusively on the intake of calories by avoiding high-calorie foods such as fats, sugar, and starchy carbohydrates. This means you limit your intake of some of the foods you may like such as cakes, sugary drinks, and fries.
As well as reducing the calories you consume you can also increase the calories you burn. Taking exercise is an effective way of burning more calories. The result is that you have fewer calories leftover and so your body doesn’t store them as fat.
If you get the balance right, together with a calorie-controlled diet, running can also help burn the previously-stored fat. This will reduce your weight more effectively than a diet alone.
Taking exercise also increases your body’s metabolism. This means you will burn more calories even when you are recovering from running, resting or even sleeping.
- Raise Money for Charity
So far, all these reasons for running have been rather selfish. They’ve focused on benefits to your health, wellbeing, and social life. Here’s a compelling reason to run that is less self-absorbed.
Running can benefit others too. Many runners raise money by being sponsored to run in running events. Getting sponsored to complete a race can be an inspiring and rewarding experience while benefiting your chosen charity.
I Want to Run but I Don’t Know How to Start
If you’re starting to take exercise from a low level of fitness you should take medical advice first to make sure that it is safe for you to do so.
If you are well enough to start exercise perhaps start walking or use the run-walk method. Mix walking and running to build up your fitness. Keep records of your times and distance so you can measure your improving performance.
Set yourself a goal such as completing an organized race. Study these reasons to run. Draw up a training schedule and get started.
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