We are four months into 2021 and (if we had any in the first place but for the sake of this introduction, let’s pretend we did) and now, we are back to couch surfing with a bag of potato chips.
Now, those of you who have “running” as a resolution, Let me try toyou of the 5 benefits of running you may have forgotten in 2021. These are evidence-backed benefits and not something I just randomly pulled out of my back pocket
1. You live longer and reduce your risk of a heart disease
“Any vigorous exercise(running) at middle and older ages is associated with reduced disability in later life and a notable survival advantage.”
Most of us want to live longer and be more productive and running is a sure-shot way of putting ourselves on that path.
I don’t think any of us would disagree that a healthy functioning heart is essential for healthy living. A study conducted by the Journal of American College of Cardiology to look at the statistics of heart diseases in people of varying core health behaviors (smoking, physical activity, diet, etc.) concluded that people who exercise (in our case, run), have improved blood sugar sensitivity, and HDL cholesterol (the good one). Do you want a healthier heart? Well, Running is a great way to ensure that!
2. Burn your calories like a boss!
Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to lose fat? You look for some effective cardio to do on the weekends? Running is your answer. If you aren’t as physically primed, running is a great way to build that cardiovascular endurance, good calorie burner but do keep in mind that you’re going to have to eventually amp up the intensity once your body starts getting acclimated to the activity and it also gets you outside the house! The sweet vitamin D!
3. Improves your knee health
There’s a misconception that running can damage your knees. Well, that isn’t true. There are numerous studies conducted that prove that running can improve knee health. Here’s a study from the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery that has concluded that only age, family history, and surgical history predicted an increased risk of hip and knee arthritis and had no correlation with their running history.
You may be wondering about the infamous runner’s knee. It’s more to do with your style of running than the actual sport of running. There’ll be a blog about this in-depth in the future!
4. Sleep better! You need it!
We all require a good amount of sleep to be able to properly function the next day but most of us struggle to fall asleep and constantly find ways to improve our sleep quality. Have you tried running?
Running does boost your sleep quality. Just 30 mins of aerobic activity can result in better sleep that same night. This article from Hopkins medicine confirms that. Recent research has also shown that exercise decreases sleep complaints and insomnia in patients.
Some people may find it harder to fall asleep if they exercise too close to their bedtime as exercise raises the core body temperature so find a time that works for you!
5. Reduced stress and more confidence!
Initially, Running may seem like a chore but as you get better and get used to it, you won’t be able to do without it! You’ll start to see the mental benefits it has as well. Reduced stress and an overall increase in your confidence.
As per an article published on Harvard Health Publishing, this is attributed to the reduction of the stress hormones, adrenaline, and cortisol. The production of Endorphins (the hormones that are natural mood elevators) helps in experiencing relaxation, optimism, and what you call the “runner’s high” (the feeling of euphoria).
There are numerous benefits of exercise and it’s always a good idea to accommodate some form of aerobic exercise in your day-to-day life as it keeps the mind fresh. It’ll help you function better as an individual. Give it a shot and share your experiences with us!