Running is one of the most popular types of fitness in the US and even still a lot of people doubt if running is really for them. If you are an avid runner then I am happy to give you 13 terrific reasons to encourage you to run and if you have never tried to run before then now you can find 13 important reasons why you should start running immediately.
For many years of my life I was not a big fan of running. I grew up in Ukraine and the way of life there is quite different from life in the United States. There are not many facilities for running (running just outside is not very popular and not very convenient either) and people in general have the attitude: “Where do you run?” “ Why do you run?” “ Only rabbits and horses run.”
When I was in school I hated PE lessons (who would believe it now?) though I always was a slim girl without any health problems. The thing that I hated the most about those lessons was running: every quarter we had to pass several tests: running 60 m (66 yards), 100 m (109 yards), 200 (219 yards) m and 2 km (1.3 miles). I could hardly get a C for the first three types of running but I was one of the best when I had to run 1.3 miles. The fact that running spoiled my grades in school made this sport the most hated one for me and of course running spelled doom.
After I finished school and entered the university I faced the problem of extra weight and this extra weight brought running back into my life. I started running several days a week at our city stadium (I am still talking about Ukraine) but it was more because of necessity than because of pleasure. Today I live in the US and I love running. I try to run for 20-30 minutes 5 days a week and in the future my aim is 40-50 minutes 5 days a week.
I try to follow all health related news and sometimes I find some really amazing facts about simple things like running for example. So here are a few amazing facts about running that will most likely have you going for a jog as soon as you finish reading this article:
- Recent research showed that running is linked to the growth of brain cells and can decrease memory loss in elderly people and delay the onset or progression of some neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease) -The Human Brain – Exercise.
- Another study found that jogging helped to increase mental sharpness, so if you are getting ready for an exam then don’t forget to run regularly for at least 2 months before the test. The research was performed in Japan, Nihon Fukushi University in Handa and it involved 7 healthy young people. If you want to read the exact results of this research then please read: Jogging may make you smarter.
- According to Mayo Clinic running can ease symptoms of depression and anxiety if you perform it regularly. Runners are also less likely to get stressed in life.
- Regular running strengthens bones and in such a way it helps to prevent osteoporosis in women and the earlier you start it the more beneficial it will be for you. Running also strengthens muscles so it prevents muscle and bone loss that often occur with age in men and women. Osteoporosis : Prevention
- One of the most well-known facts is that running is a great cardio-vascular exercise that will keep your heart strong and healthy for many-many years. Jogging reduces the risk of heart attack by strengthening the heart and lowering blood pressure.
- Running prevents and helps fight the early stages of dangerous diseases such as diabetes, breast cancer and hypertension. Doctors often prescribe running to patients with a high risk of these types of diseases.
- Running makes you happier due to the fact that when your run hormones known as endorphins are released in your body that create a sense of euphoria that is also known as ‘runner’s high’.
- Running burns calories so it’s a great way to lose extra weight.
- Regular running has amazing anti-aging benefits. Besides all the factors that have already been mentioned running proved to reduce risks of fatal diseases in elderly people by 50% and it increased the quality of life by 16 years. More detailed results of the research at Stanford University Medical Center can be found in Anti-Aging benefits of Running
- Running does not kill your joints. If you stayed away from running just because you thought that it would ruin your joints then you can forget about this excuse and put on your running shoes immediately. Recent research showed that people who ran regularly and who didn’t run had the same risks of developing osteoarthritis. In fact osteoarthritis often occurs in overweight people and avid runners definitely do not have problems with being overweight. Results of the research can be found in The Benefits of Running. Running makes us well-oiled machines – ankles, knees, and hips included You can also check out my new article Injury-free running: Easy steps to prevent running injuries
- Running increases your self-esteem. Some people become more self-confident when they set a goal and then accomplish it (run a marathon, run 6 miles every day etc.) but running gives people an inner sense of confidence regardless.
- Running improves coordination and makes you more alert. This is especially true if you are doing trail-running. I can also add that running is the shortest way to get a knock-out set of legs. In order to see even greater results don’t forget to do some stretching before and after your jog. I like Yoga and I found a really great article Yoga for Runners with an awesome video that is worth checking out.
- If you want to discover something new in your sexual life with your partner then try to run before your intimate moments and you will enjoy greater excitement and much stronger orgasm with your partner. Male runners seem to have the sexual prowess of men two to five years younger, it found. Vigorous exercise, combined with lifestyle factors such as diet and not smoking, can improve a man’s sexual state by up to 10 years and decrease risks of impotence. Complete report can be found in Running can make you a sex-god: study
I hope you do not have any more doubts about whether to run or not. Now it is time to get your running shoes on and start moving.
Keep it balanced!
P.S. Feel free to check out the second part of this post that will tell you how to run safely and injury-free – Injury-free running: Easy steps to prevent running injuries