Impressive benefits of running that’ll convince:
Running slashes your risk of heart disease
Good news for your ticker: Running could cut your risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 45 percent, according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
How? Running helps improve blood pressure, HDL (good) cholesterol, and blood sugar sensitivity, explains Janet Hamilton, CSCS, an exercise physiologist at Running Strong in Atlanta. All of these factors play a role in cardiovascular health.
It also burns calories like crazy
Of course, “the calories you burn running depend on a few variables, including your weight, sex, and age, as well as the weather, terrain, altitude, and effort you put into each step,” says certified running coach Corky Corkum, CPT, Variis Precision Run Instructor. “On average, most people lacing up burn about 100 calories per mile.” Not bad, eh?
Running strengthens your joints
Don’t let that “running is rough on your joints” mumbo-jumbo fool you. “There is always a lot of commentary around the negative effects of running on knees and joints, but there is actually a lower prevalence of hip and knee arthritis amongst active marathon runners,” says Corkum. (Yep, research published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery backs this up, finding no correlation between running history and arthritis.)
“Instead, the study concluded that hip and knee arthritis is highly dependent on age, family history, and surgical history,” Corkum says.
One of the benefits of running is that it relieves stress
If yoga isn’t your thing, running can work wonders for stress relief. “Running reduces stress because you need to be super present while doing it,” says Sims. “I use running as a form of meditation; in which I really focus on my breath, sometimes even saying a mantra on the inhales and exhales.
Running also allows me to separate myself from the other stresses of the day; giving me an opportunity to focus on bettering myself and enjoying a fun playlist.”
Need more convincing?
Running actually mitigates the effects of long-term chronic stress on the brain; according to a recent study published in a volume of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. Better grab those sneaks!
It keeps your peepers healthy, too
Your eyes are the window to your health, and, like your heart; affected by conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. As it helps ward off these chronic issues, running may also lower your risk for developing vision-clouding cataracts, too, says research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Running improves your follow-through (in all aspects of life)
If you can power through a run, you can power through anything. Really. Research out of the University of Iowa shows that since cardio exercise requires extended and consistent effort (hello, long, hot runs), doing it regularly can improve your ability to stick through lengthy and arduous to-do’s. Big annoying work project coming up? Your running routine has got your back.