10 Benefits of Running

Running
10 Benefits of Running

If you are a runner, you know that running has changed your life. It’s not just an activity or exercise, it’s a way of life. While the benefits are numerous, that doesn’t mean running has changed everything. We are still human after all.

  1. Overall mental health.
    Runners are happy people. We’ve got that runner high thing going for us. Just don’t make us unhappy by canceling a race that we’ve trained months and months for. That’s one way to turn a runner’s smile upside down.
  2. Strengthens your lungs.
    Runners have increased lung capacity from logging mile after mile. Those strong lungs come in handy if you ever find yourself on the other side of race as a spectator. A runner’s WOOHOO! is loud and proud.
  3. Helps prevent high blood pressure.
    Your arteries expand and contract while running helping to keep your arteries fit which in turn keeps your blood pressure in a normal range. That is until you find out that your favorite running shoe has been discontinued. Nothing is harder to replace than a beloved running shoe!
  4. Strengthens immune system.
    Regular running builds up your tolerance to germs which results in fewer minor illnesses. That is unless you are training for a marathon. Then you will be sick all the time.
  5. Weight control.
    Running burns mega-calories. However, it makes you mega-hungry, especially if you are training for long distances.  Running doesn’t give you a pass to eat all the food, all the time.
  6. Physically strong legs.
    Runner’s legs are a powerhouse. They move you from point A to B. They carry you up and down hills. They know how to put it into high gear at the track. They also will have a hard time fitting into skinny jeans when you are in the thick of marathon training.
  7. Relieves stress.
    Running boasts the brain’s serotonin levels which make you calmer and more relaxed. Who said you can’t run away from your problems?
  8. Increased bone density.
    Running stresses your bones. Essential minerals are sent to the bones when under stress, which makes them stronger. However, running does not make you unbreakable. You still can break a bone by thinking you can jump a 10-foot high fence.
  9. Increased joint strength and stability.
    Running increases the strength of your ligaments and tendons. You’ll find your joints will be able to withstand more mileage and more uneven terrain. But that doesn’t mean you will never sprain your ankle again while trail running. It just may mean four weeks on crutches versus eight weeks if you didn’t run.
  10. Increased confidence. Once you start running, your confidence begins to grow. You’ll feel more in control of your life and your body. You will even begin to think you look good in spandex tights.

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Angela Bekkala

Angela is an ACSM Clinical Exercise Specialist and RRCA Running Coach from the seacoast of New Hampshire. When she isn't running, you can find her chasing after her boy/girl twins and writing about running and fitness on her blog, Happy Fit Mama.

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