Running for only 20 to 25 minutes a day may have a profound effect on your mind, body, and spirit. Running is a valuable form of exercise that many people partake in to help with mental and physical health. Running helps with various health problems like better sleep, weight control, decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, and improved moods. There are numerous benefits to running for runners, both physically and mentally. By getting into the habit of running regularly, it can also be good for your heart as well as your happiness levels. Nowadays, running is a prevalent form of exercise among people across the world. The health benefits of running are very prominent for runners because they can reach a higher efficiency level than other forms of exercise.
Suppose you’re just getting started with your fitness journey, or you’re looking for new reasons for you or your loved ones to begin exercising even they’re overweight. In that case, this article will help you understand some of the many positive aspects associated with running. It alters your life to become a runner. However, you may not realize how much it enhances each component. Here’s proof of the incredible advantages of running.
Table of Contents
- What should You Know before You begin Running?
- 25 Benefits of Running That Impact Your Health
- 1: Running Improves Mental Health and Reduces Depression
- 2: Running Can Get You High
- 3: Running Can Help Score You Vitamin D
- 4: Running Burns Calories
- 5: Running Doesn’t Require a Ton of Equipment
- 6: Through Running, You also Learn Resilience
- 7: Running Makes You Smarter
- 8: Running Improves Sleep Quality
- 9: Running Helps You Lose Weight
- 10: Running Makes You Look Good
- 11: Running Connects You to a Community
- 12: Running Can Anchor a Whole Host of Healthy Habits
- 13: Running Fights off Beer Bellies
- 14: Running Can Improve Your Knees and Back
- 15: Running Strengthens Your Bones
- 16: Running Lowers Your Blood Pressure
- 17: Running Can Improve Heart Health
- 18: Running Improves Glucose Control and Reduces Diabetes Risk
- 19: Running Improves Your Immunity
- 20: Reduce Your Risk of many other Chronic Diseases
- 21: Running Reduces the Risk of many Cancers
- 22: Running Increases Cognitive Function and Lowers the Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
- 23: Running Can Help You Live Longer
- 24: Running Makes you Look Younger
- 25: It keeps Your Eyes Healthy
- Do You Need other Exercises?
What should You Know before You begin Running?
Running is straightforward, but there are a few things to consider before beginning a new running program.
1. Running Shoes are Essential
One of the most important things you should take care of in your running program is your running shoes. Runners who don’t have the appropriate shoes end up suffering from knee or foot problems. This can take away much of what you love about running. Nothing makes you feel that you are running better than the right shoes. Protective footwear is necessary to avoid injuries. The right shoe will help you control your stride, keep you balanced, stabilize your heel, provide cushioning where you need it most, and lastly, provide protection against injury.
Safety while running is an aspect that is often overlooked. It’s not to say that runners are reckless – but you should take the necessary precautions when you run. Be sure to choose a safe place and time to do your running. Be sure to keep away from roads with heavy traffic if possible. Avoid running when it is dark outside, especially if you are new to running. If you’ve just started running, you should be walking or running with someone else to create safety; it also helps you stay motivated.
Before you start running, it’s essential to be aware that running is a high-impact activity that may aggravate your joints and bones, especially in the legs and feet. Because of this, it’s a good idea to start small and build up your distance gradually. It is advised that beginners run no more than 5 miles on their first day. After you get used to running consistently for weeks, your fitness level will improve. After you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you may begin running and receive the advantages for your body, mind, and soul. Here are 25 benefits of running that both novice and experienced runners should consider.
4. Alternating Between Walking and Running
The best way to improve your health is by alternating between walking and running. It’s a common misconception that one needs to spend all their time either walking or running. The truth is, it’s important to mix up your workouts throughout the week in order to prevent boredom and overuse injuries. > So whether you’re an avid runner training for a race or someone who likes taking long walks with friends on weekends, give yourself permission to break up the monotony!
25 Benefits of Running That Impact Your Health
Running is an excellent way to keep your body healthy! It’s also a great way to relieve stress, improve your mood, and get in shape. If you’re not sure where to start or how much time you can devote to running each day, you’ll find the running benefits below helpful.
1: Running Improves Mental Health and Reduces Depression
Running has also been associated with reducing depression, anxiety, and even bipolar disorder in schizophrenia. Many people with mental health issues are encouraged to start running since it encourages mindfulness and coping better with life’s daily stresses. In addition, people who run are less likely to suffer from depression than individuals who don’t. Running (or any exercise) isn’t a panacea; drugs or treatment may be necessary for some instances. However, according to a study of 116 papers published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in 2020, there’s good evidence that jogging may assist with various mental health issues.
2: Running Can Get You High
As a runner, you’ll get a surge of endorphins in your body, which is why running often makes people feel happy. The emotions associated with physical exertion lead to a high release of endorphins. These endorphins increase the happy chemicals in our body, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, improving mood and reducing depression. In other words, running will make you feel better.
3: Running Can Help Score You Vitamin D
After running outside for 10 to 15 minutes, your body will begin to produce Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential because it helps with the absorption of calcium, which is essential for many processes in the body. Just 5 to 10 minutes of sun exposure can produce 50% of the recommended daily dose of Vitamin D.
4: Running Burns Calories
Ready to shed pounds? Running can help you burn calories at a rate that is difficult with other forms of exercise. Running is excellent for burning fat because it increases energy consumption and causes you to burn calories at a higher rate than other forms of exercise. Research shows that running burns an average of about 200 calories per mile if you’re starting. That puts you ahead of walking, swimming, and even bicycling. Runners will lose weight at around 2 to 3 pounds per week if they’re eating less than they’re burning off each day.
5: Running Doesn’t Require a Ton of Equipment
If you want to start running, you don’t need to invest in an abundance of equipment. All you need is a good pair of shoes and comfortable clothing, like shorts and a running shirt. To make things even easier, you can borrow the rest of your equipment from friends or share it with others who run with you. There is no equipment, dumbbells, or even mats necessary for this workout.
6: Through Running, You also Learn Resilience
Running is a challenging sport that requires dedication, determination, and commitment. You discover that when you set out to do something, it’s best achieved when you put in the effort. In addition, tenacity and mental toughness developed from running are transferred to other areas of one’s life, such as school and employment.
7: Running Makes You Smarter
The benefits of running don’t stop at physical health. Researchers have also found that it helps improve one’s mental abilities, such as memory and problem-solving skills. Running raises cortisol levels, which are necessary for enhanced memory and information retention. Some research has found that running can help increase the brain’s gray matter by 2 percent. As a result, you will learn and absorb knowledge more quickly at the workplace, in school, or in any other setting.
8: Running Improves Sleep Quality
Sleep is critical for learning, and it’s essential for getting through the day. In addition, it enhances one’s productivity, creativity, and health. A study published showed that running reduced insomnia in participants after six weeks of training. To help you get better sleep, try to run 3 or 4 hours before bedtime so your body can cool down and get ready for rest. That way, running will help you get the best night’s sleep possible.
After a month: We have already described some of the immediate advantages, but the actual benefits will only become apparent after establishing a regular practice. So the following is an update on how you’re doing after a month.
9: Running Helps You Lose Weight
Running can help you reduce your body fat and maintain a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, combining running and a healthy eating plan will ultimately help you achieve your goal weight. Regular running helps build muscle, while calories burned during the activity help burn off excess body fat. This results in more significant weight loss than other exercises like walking or moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (like riding a bike). Another added benefit is that it increases your metabolic rate, which means you’ll burn more calories throughout the day—even when you’re not running!
10: Running Makes You Look Good
People who look better than those who don’t. An article proved that runners have better-looking skin and hair than non-runners. Runners also tended to have better self-perception in these areas.
Running may help you look better in a variety of ways:
- You will regain your fitness.
- Your skin will clear up, and you’ll be less prone to develop acne or pimples.
- Your looks will also benefit from a more upright stance.
11: Running Connects You to a Community
As you continue to run, you’ll bond with like-minded people who share your passion for this activity. There are several social communities around running. Many clubs offer social runs, where runners can enjoy recreation time together. These running groups are great places to meet fellow runners and people who share your love of the sport. This sense of community is not something that can be bought with money. Of course, we all need friends and family members to be there for us outside the running arena, but running strengthens these bonds.
12: Running Can Anchor a Whole Host of Healthy Habits
Running is an excellent way to improve your health in many ways. As you continue to run, you’ll begin to form new habits that can extend into other areas of your life. Running is an open door to some other healthy activities. Running can be used as a motivator for getting in shape and dropping some weight.
13: Running Fights off Beer Bellies
Running is a great way to reduce belly fat. Unfortunately, as you get older, the pounds seem to stick to your stomach like glue. However, one study of almost 100,000 runners found that those who ran 35 or more miles per week accumulated less belly fat than those who ran fewer than nine miles per week throughout their midlife years.
14: Running Can Improve Your Knees and Back
Many people are scared to start running because they fear it will hurt their knees. However, this is usually the case only if they have not prepared themselves properly for running or have past injuries or weaknesses in these areas. Running reduces the incidence of knee osteoarthritis, according to a study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This might be because jogging improves the supply of nutrients to your knee cartilage while also strengthening the ligaments that surround the joint.
15: Running Strengthens Your Bones
As you run, you improve the strength of your bones. While running does not make the bones grow more extensive, it does make them stronger. And over time, this improves their ability to withstand injury or damage. Researchers at the University of Rochester have found that running can strengthen your bones. Regular running is an excellent way to strengthen its bones because it increases bone density. Runners also tend to be taller than non-runners, which makes them less likely to suffer hip fractures.
16: Running Lowers Your Blood Pressure
If you’re hypertensive or suffer from high blood pressure, running can help. Running results in weight loss and lower body mass index (BMI), both of which reduce your risk for developing hypertension. Regular running decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is one of the leading causes of stroke and heart attacks. In addition, this helps to reduce hypertension risk in your body. Endurance runners who followed a 13-week exercise program that included at least two runs per week experienced a 14 percent reduction in their systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) compared to those who did not do any running.
17: Running Can Improve Heart Health
According to researchers from Harvard Medical School, regular running can “modify” the characteristics of your heart. As a result, your heart will become stronger over time, which helps prevent future cardiovascular disease. One of the benefits of running is that it can increase your resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate is the lowest rate at which your pulse rate stays constant for 20 seconds or longer after you’ve stopped exercising. Running improves blood flow through the heart muscle, increasing the efficiency of this organ so you’ll get more energy to carry out daily activities, which is essential for overall health.
18: Running Improves Glucose Control and Reduces Diabetes Risk
Running has been shown to improve glucose regulation. However, it can decrease insulin resistance or damage the pancreas, resulting in Type 2 diabetes. The reduced risk of diabetes is also associated with an improvement in insulin sensitivity. This also contributes to reduced risks for pre-diabetes and other cardio-metabolic diseases. According to the American Diabetes Association, those who exercise three or more days per week experience lower blood glucose than those who don’t exercise as often.
19: Running Improves Your Immunity
As a result of regular running, your body becomes better at fighting off infections. Running increases the number of circulating T-cells in the blood. These cells aid in the production of antibodies, which help fight disease. The more regularly you run, the greater your immunity against different infections. In a study from Penn State University, those who ran regularly had been shown to have a 30 percent lower risk of getting respiratory tract infection. In the same study, those who ran for two hours or more also experienced improved immune function and higher rates of overall fitness.
- After 10 years: Running has you covered in a variety of ways, even as you become older.
20: Reduce Your Risk of many other Chronic Diseases
A study of almost 50,000 runners, published in the British Medical Journal, showed that those who ran regularly were significantly less likely to develop dementia. Runners also had better overall physical and mental health than non-runners. They experienced lower obesity-related diseases like cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
21: Running Reduces the Risk of many Cancers
The good news is that running can help prevent many different types of cancers, according to an analysis of 30 studies published in the American Journal of Public Health. Runners had significantly lower risks of developing colon, breast, prostate, or lung cancers than inactive persons. They also experienced lower risks for several other forms of cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends at least three hours per week of moderate-intensity physical activity for cancer prevention. It estimates that 63 percent of cancer deaths could be prevented with regular exercise.
22: Running Increases Cognitive Function and Lowers the Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Running improves cognitive function, which results in a “better quality of life,” according to a study from the University of Pittsburgh. Running can improve memory and thinking skills, as well as help restore an aging brain. It reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, as well as helps those with it. The more you run, the greater your chances for preserving mental health as you age. A study from the University of Houston discovered that those who ran for at least three hours per week experienced nearly 50 percent less chance of developing Alzheimer’s Disease than those who did not participate in this activity.
23: Running Can Help You Live Longer
According to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Running makes us live longer. Those who ran 3–6 miles per week experienced 13 percent fewer deaths than inactive persons. You can reap additional benefits by running further, associated with reduced risks for total mortality after age 50. Running helps to increase life expectancy and general health. It can result in lower death rates from all causes, including cancer and diabetes. It also lowers the risk of early death from heart disease or stroke by up to 31 percent.
24: Running Makes you Look Younger
According to many experts, you can look younger at any age with the help of running. In addition, running helps correct posture and boosts metabolism, which can help reduce signs of aging in your body. Runners who participated in the Great Manchester 10K (a 10K road race) were found to look an average of five years younger than people who live sedentary lifestyles when independent judges examined them.
25: It keeps Your Eyes Healthy
The benefits of running extend to your eyesight. Running can help improve your vision and reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the elderly. In a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, older people who ran regularly had more extraordinary vision abilities than those who did not exercise.
Do You Need other Exercises?
Runners may benefit from cross-training, which is when they combine running with another kind of exercise. The following are some of the possible advantages:
- Decreases injury risk
- Activates various muscles
- Improves core and flexibility
- Injury healing without affecting fitness
- Provides a wide range of options
- If running is your primary form of exercise, try mixing it up once or twice a week with cycling, swimming, yoga, or Pilates to get the advantages listed above. One to two times per week, including anaerobic exercises such as strength training and weights in your regimen.
Is it better to run in the morning or evening?
The time of the day you run is not as important as how often you run and your current fitness level. If you’re starting, it’s best to go for a brisk walk before you move on to running. It’s also wise to start with just a mile or two until you build up your conditioning.
What should I wear while running?
It’s good to wear an outfit that is loose-fitting, comfortable, and appropriate for the weather conditions. In addition, running in good running shoes that fit correctly is essential; do not wear old shoes or go road running without proper footwear (unless you’re very experienced).
Can running help alleviate stress?
Yes, running helps take the edge off and help problem-solve. It’s also perfect for relieving any pent-up anger and anxiety and releasing endorphins, making us feel peaceful and content.
Can running make my hair grow faster?
No. While it’s true that the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is responsible for hair loss in both men and women and accelerated hair loss in those with alopecia areata, there is no evidence that exercise can stimulate the growth of new hair follicles. However, strenuous exercise does have several other significant effects on your body’s appearance and metabolism, which may improve the condition of your hair.
Should I run on an empty stomach?
It is generally not a good idea to run on an empty stomach. Not only can it make you feel nauseous during your run, but if you start to work out without eating, you could also end up throwing up. Eat a small snack or a meal before running, and drink plenty of water as well.