You may have heard of athletes having injured their shins, twisted their ankles, or developed some musculoskeletal problem because of distance running. While those may be true, we should think critically and put in mind that running, just like any other sport, has its own risks and, thus, should be properly prepared for and performed.
Physical injury because of too much training and overuse of one’s body is only logical. But if you set out your runs with moderation and care, you’ll definitely reap the benefits of this physical activity. So how can you benefit from running? Here’s a list.
Weight Loss and Shape Maintenance
Studies have shown that those who do marathons or simply run regularly get to have slimmer waists and hips, and leaner bodies. No wonder more and more people are getting into running these days. But another reason is that it’s one of the most convenient ways to burn fatty flabs and get a trim figure. You don’t need someone to work out with you, and you don’t need expensive equipment and gear to run. You basically just have to have a good pair of running shoes that gives enough support to your feet.
Many people think that running quickly, and even instantly, makes you lose weight. Well, that may be technically true, but the thing is, the weight one loses after a run isn’t fat. You’ll naturally lose weight because the body lets out much body liquid through sweat. To lose weight, you should run regularly at gradually increasing speed and distance. It should be gradual so that your body won’t get too much strained.
Good Cardiovascular Health
When you run, you breathe harder. And when you breathe harder, your heart also works double time to circulate oxygen-rich blood around your body. Thus, your heart somehow gets exercised and your blood vessels cleared of unwanted cholesterol build-ups. When you have a strong heart and perfectly elastic arteries, you naturally get lower chances of developing heart-related problems, such as hypertension, heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.
Better Moods and Stress Relief
Ever heard of the “runner’s high”? It’s the light, relaxed feeling that athletes experience after running a long distance. And it’s because of the hormones released by our body when we do a physically taxing activity. Endorphin is one naturally produced chemical in our body that helps relieve stress and pain. Running is also said to improve the renewal cycle of brain neurons, which in turn improves memory and learning. It’s therefore no wonder that many doctors include running in therapy programs for mental rehabilitation patients and those experiencing depression.
There was this man who was featured on TV. He was over 90 years old but he could still carry buckets of water and move around as if he was three decades younger. Asked of his secret, he said he simply eats healthy foods and runs a few miles everyday-and then the screen showed him in running shorts that exposed leg muscles young men would kill for.
Aside from preventing high-risk diseases, distance running increases bone density and muscle mass. Plus, it triggers the production of the growth hormone which helps one look young. Thus, one could stay really strong, in shape and youthful looking with less sagging skins, less flapping flesh in the legs and arms, less chances of having osteoporosis, and a glowing skin.