If you are like many people, running isn’t your daily cup of coffee. I mean, why run for 30 minutes today and then spend two days with sour feet, paining knees, and stiff limbs? But if you understood how beneficial running is to your entire body, then you would make it your daily cup of coffee, the side effects notwithstanding.
Here are ten invaluable health benefits of running (and risks of not running) that will prompt you to grab your running shoes and hit the pavement.
1. Running burns hella calories.
This one is the most obvious; running is among the most effective ways of burning unwanted calories. Doctors say that jogging at a speed slightly higher than your walking pace will help you lose and maintain weight (i.e. You don’t need to sprint to tap on this benefit). What’s more, after you are done jogging, your body will continue burning calories through a process scientists call excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC). Multiple studies show that running at least an hour per day at an average speed of 5 to 10 miles per hour could help you burn from about 500 to 1000 calories depending on your weight.
2. Running is an antidepressant.
Going by a report that was published on the American College of Sports Medicine’s scientific journal 12 years ago, running for 150 minutes in a week will improve your overall mood significantly. We are talking about jogging for 20 minutes every day being a proven cure to depression. The study argues that running improves your mood by prompting your body to release the hormones responsible for your happiness.
3. Running can help you sleep.
By being an antidepressant, it means that running can relieve you of stress and anxiety that would easily keep you awake at night. According to research findings that were published six years ago by the Journal of Adolescent Health, people with sleeping problems can solve that problem by running for at least 30 minutes every week over a period of three weeks.
4. Running has been found to increases reproductive abilities in men.
According to a group of renowned scientists from Cambridge University, men who run regularly have a higher sex drive, stamina, and sperm counts as compared to those who don’t. According to the researchers, running makes men physically fit and improves their ability to endure long, breathless, and strenuous spells; exactly what you need for you to perform excellently in bed. As a matter of fact, our ancestors who depended on hunting and gathering for food held runners in the highest regard. Men who could run and hunt were seen as the best husbands.
5. Running makes your heart healthier.
Scientific findings posted on the Journal of the American College of Cardiology sometimes back shows that a 5-minute jog every day significantly reduces your risk of suffering a cardiovascular attack. The findings also suggest that the more you run, the healthier your heart becomes.
6. Running improves knee health.
There are people who are skeptical about running because of the unfounded narrative that it can cause osteoarthritis. The fact of the matter here is that running will improve your knee health and increase your overall bone mass. Researchers at Boston University found out that with the right running shoes, the chances of hurting your knees when running are extremely slim.
7. Running improves memory and learning.
Running increases the amount of energy your body sends to the brain by exciting the estrogen-related receptor gamma, a protein which is responsible for releasing energy to the human muscles and the brain. That makes the brain sharp and improves its ability to memorize content. According to Professor Ronald Evans, director of Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, a majority of legendary marathoners are also great thinkers with impeccable decision-making skills.
8. Running reduces your chances of developing cancer.
Any form of exercise guarantees you a healthier life, of course. But with 30 minutes of running or aerobics, your body is able to suppress cancer-causing antibodies thus increasing your chances of leading a cancer-free life. Epidemiologists argue that cancer patients can increase their life expectancy by running between chemo sessions; unless they are advised otherwise by their doctors.
9. Running will help you live longer.
Any form of exercising adds you extra years, running included. If you are a cancer patient, running for 30 minutes daily can add you up to 3 years. If you don’t smoke, running can add you up to 3 years while smokers prolong their lives by 4 years.
10. Running improves your hearing abilities.
A study sponsored by the Bellarmine University in Kentucky shows that runners have reduced chances of bad hearing. Pretty incredible, right? Your running habit can (kind of) make up for all those times you blast music way too loud!
We all know that running regularly is good for our health, but all of its unexpected benefits make it one of the best types of exercise out there. So lace up your sneakers, take your mark, and run!