Running is innate to humans and animals alike, and its critical role in ensuring our species’ survival cannot be underestimated. While most of us no longer need to chase after our food or run from predators, running remains an activity that is easy to do and costs almost nothing. All you need to get started is the energy, mindset, suitable attire (including running shoes), a towel, and a water bottle. And don’t forget to apply sunscreen if you plan on running during the daytime.
Different people pick up running for different reasons, such as ease, flexibility, and health. Running is also one of those activities that, to some, may sound dreadful, but no one ever said that you have to run at full speed when you’re just starting out. In fact, we recommend that you start out with a light jog to get a hang of how it feels. The adrenaline you feel when you run coupled with the sense of freedom can get addictive fast.
Here are some other benefits that you can reap from being a runner.
The Benefits of Running
1. Improves Your Mental Health
There is no doubt that the “runner’s high” is real because your brain releases endocannabinoids when you run. Endocannabinoids is a chemical that your body produces naturally and has similar effects to cannabis but without the side effects. This chemical can help improve your mood, sleep, and even appetite.
2. It’s a Great Stress Reliever
Sometimes you just need to let it out without having to turn to drugs, medication, or alcohol. Running can act as a pressure relief vault that can do just that by taking your mind off your concerns and shifting your focus to the activity itself. You might even enjoy it so much that you experience the ‘flow’ state every time you run!
3. Helps With Weight Management
A good reason to run is that can help you lose a few pounds and keep them off! Runners do not need a lot of body fat or muscles since these can be counterproductive to efficient running. Running could, in fact, encourage healthier eating, which in turn can improve your overall well-being. Nonetheless, the first step to long-term weight loss is to take proper care of your diet.
4. Improved Physical Health
Many studies have shown that running is beneficial for pretty much every part of your well-being, from improved cardiovascular endurance to enhanced stamina. It also keeps your muscles supple as you age while providing you with an activity that you can adjust to suit your capabilities. All you need is to dedicate 30 minutes three to five days a week to reap the rewards.
5. Improves Sleep Quality
Running can help improve your sleep quality. The good news is that it doesn’t have to take long for this effect to kick in. A 30 minute run at a light to moderate pace will suffice. Take care not to run 1 to 2 hours before your bedtime because you might feel more energized, which can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
In a Nutshell
There are few exercises that require as little investment as running and fewer still that can provide you similar health benefits. There is minimal equipment required, you are not stuck somewhere, and you can tailor your run to your preferences.
Beginning runners should start slow and steady to get used to proper running techniques before doing something more advanced. Try running for 15 mins at the start before gradually increasing the length and intensity. You can expect sore muscles if you are just starting out, which is why a proper post-recovery routine is recommended.
So give running a try today if you haven’t. You might just find yourself enjoying it more than you realize.