What are the Health Benefits of Running?

Running is great. It is possibly the most efficient way to get fit and lose weight and could also be the most natural form of exercise. It is thought that running in a pack, pretty much at a marathon pace, is a natural way to run. Our human ancestors used to hunt on foot and also covered large distances while following migrating herbivores much in the same way that wolves and large cats do.

Running seems to have got a bad press over the years. There is the old saying the “the man who invented jogging died jogging which just about every lazy person uses as an excuse not to exercise. Yes, some people really do think that exercise is bad for us!

Then there is the well known fact that the chap who ran the first marathon died in the process. It was in his honor that people started running marathons, or maybe the Roman government decided that its messengers needed to be fitter so forced them to compete in regular marathon races for amusement. Who knows? Either way, running gets a bad rep because if this.

Here are the main benefits of running:

  • A free way to get fit – no gym membership required
  • A natural way to get fit – no tuition required
  • A quick way to get fit – running really does work!
  • A great way to manage your weight – cardio is the best way to lose weight
  • It makes your heart stronger
  • It reduces bad cholesterol
  • It increases your lung capacity
  • It strengthens your legs
  • It helps you improve digestion and nutrient uptake
  • It improves memory and mood, especially when you run outdoors

Those are the main benefits of running. As you can see it really is the best way to exercise. All you need to get started is a safe route to follow, a good pair of running shoes and day light (or good street lighting in the evening).

You need to be safe when running outdoors though and there are several factors to consider such as:

  • Is your road safe to run on, are there pavements?
  • Is it well lit to prevent tripping and other injuries?
  • Is it a safe area to run in your neighborhood? 
  • Are you shoes good quality? (they do not have to be the best)
  • Wear reflective clothing at night so cars can see you

Running is a very rewarding way to get fit. As you improve you may also experience the “runners high” which is the feeling of pleasure you have when you have run a few miles and the endorphins start flowing.

It is mostly for this reason why I believe that running is the most natural way to get fit. Those endorphins are there for a reason – to encourage us to run more. If running was not to be encouraged it would not feel good.

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