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Running every day keeps aging away: the most complete list of running benefits

Posted in Balanced Body, Most Popular | October 24, 2008 |

  

This post was written by Anastasiya. Follow me on Twitter or StumbleUpon and keep your life balanced!


running every dayImage by hernan.seoane

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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’.
  8. Running burns calories so it’s a great way to lose extra weight.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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


 

Smart Thoughts (26)

  1. gary says:

    happy to see others finding good use of long term running, keep up the good work- gary

  2. SS says:

    One must run well to gain the benefits and avoid the problems you describe. I see so many folks running out-of-whack these days.

    But I think you’re right: many benefits, few drawback.

  3. Kid says:

    I personally don’t run, but my brother does, and he seems to get more out of it then I ever could. I don’t get a “runners high,” but I do get alot of aches and pains. Basically nothing good comes out of running for me, I’ve had a low self- esteem and have been depressed before I run, and it really doesn’t help.

    I had no intentions of cutting down anyone’s beliefs. I just wanted to state that maybe other people are like me and don’t’ get anything out of it, so that whole article up there doesn’t apply to some people.

  4. Hyrum says:

    I run once a week so I am glad to hear all the benefits that I am getting that I didn’t know about.

  5. Stacy says:

    Kid,
    I agree that all people are different and what works for most of us does not necessarily work for everybody. I am currently preparing an article about safe running techniques and ways to prevent injuries while running, maybe you will find something new for yourself there. Anyway thanks for expressing your point of view, hearing a different opinion is always interesting for me.

  6. bw says:

    its great to see some positive points like these, i try to run 5 times a week around 5 – 10 km.. but mood is a major factor, if im in the mood to get out and run then 10k is no problem for the day but lately the weather has been getting cold with a little snow and running begins to feel more like a job and less like an enjoyable sport.. pushing through the down moods is key thought after i run i feel 100% better.. i do believe though that running is not for everyone if your overweight biking or other cardio machines at the gym are much better to start out with to loose 5-10 pounds before hitting the trails.

  7. Good info… Thanks for sharing. keep up the great work! :)

  8. gereksiz adam says:

    i do not think so. i run 5kms a day for 1 year.my leg joints are getting worse.and my concentration on work is also.its only a myth that running has benefits.my depression is getting worse also.

    theres no scientific research on benefits of running.they are all myth.

    yes walk.but do not run.

  9. Anastasiya says:

    Adam,

    I am glad that you looked through the article even though you do not believe in running, though chances are that you are overtraining. I never said that running every day is a good practice, 3 times a week (5 times max) is all you need to stay injury free. You can also check out my article Injury-Free Running to make sure that you are doing everything right.

  10. Salvaza says:

    Very useful information

  11. Madeleine says:

    Well-researched and well-written post, Anastasiya. I like the way you’ve provided links to some of the sources.

    One commenter says that there is no research on the benefits of running. Actually, a huge amount of research done over the past 4 or 5 decades confirms the benefits. A lot of work in this area has been done by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, Director of the Cooper Center in Dallas. Dr. Cooper, the author of Aerobics and a number of other books, is still running regularly at the age of 77.

    It’s also important to point out that walking provides much the same benefit and may be a better choice for some people. The main thing is to get moving.

  12. I’m 55 and began running at 27. I had a bone scan and the doctor said I have the hips of a 30 year old. How awesom is that?

  13. Sherrill says:

    Thanks for your advice, I started running about 2 months ago. Im 60 years old and my doctors did not want me to do this or that and I felt like i was dying. With RA and fibromyalgia,two back surgeries and a neck surgery I thought and felt like my life was over. I could not stand it anymore, I started excercising and working out, feeling better and better. I was doing some walking and started jogging, walking, jogging, and really began to fall in love with this. I’m now jogging/running 4.4 miles without walking and feel like I have a new life…..Do I have bad days? Yes. but dont we all? I agree totally with your outlook, my knees bothered me for a while but not anymore. I have aches and pains but I did anyway so I say no pain no gain. I FEEL better than ever. if I have to take pain meds for my pain. Ill use the endorfins from excercise as well that is a double free dose. I take less medication than before, feel better and have a different outlook on life. -

    • Anastasiya says:

      Sherrill, I was so happy to read about your experience with running! If it makes your body feel better – then go (or better to say run) for it :-)As long as you are mindful about your joints and how your body feels every day before you go running – it’s a great thing for you.
      Something else that I wanted to suggest to you is Pilates – preferably on the apparatus but even mat sessions or DVDs will be great. I’ve been teaching for 3 years now and most of my clients have arthritis, fibromyalgia, knee replacements and all kinds of conditions that require caution and extra care. Each and every one of my wonderful students comes back because they feel a huge difference and relief in their bodies.
      It would be a really great addition to running for you. let me know if you have any questions about Pilates and I’ll be happy to give you any tips.

  14. Natalia says:

    Hi, thanx for all running articles, truly inspiring. But what about people with asthma? Is it feasible, and moreover, is it possible to get rid of it by running and expanding your lungs?

    • Anastasiya says:

      Hi Natalia!
      I definitely wouldn’t recommend running for people with asthma, especially not at the beginning. I would start with an activity that works on expanding your lung capacity very gently – something like Pilates or yoga with emphasis on breathing. Then I would move up to walking/cycling and then possibly running. If you have asthma you need to learn to listen to your body and work with it nit against it. I hope this information is helpful :-)

      • Anirudh says:

        Hii Natalia am starting running from 2 weeks back and I run 5 miles daily am feeling really well after running its very good for health

  15. Krish says:

    Great post.. :) i found that most of the thoughts resonate with what i have experienced as a runner so far.. Cheers.. :)

  16. Sonupv says:

    I run 12 kilometres every day. I run just for fun & enjoy so much while running. Kindly advise about the most optimum running distance. At time I feel very thirsty, is it possible to drink some water while running.

  17. Pat says:

    I run 6 km a day. Seven days a week for 11 years now. I rest once a while, probably once a month. Running for me is like brushing my teeth that I have to do everyday. Not only I have to but I Looovveeeeee to do it. I run in the morning. I drink 26 glasses of water everyday (one glass of mine is 10oz) so I intake 2 gallons of water everyday. I tell you, I’m 41 now but people say I’m around 30.

  18. Dante G says:

    I am 44 and started running in April for the first time. I quit smoking cold turkey and I went from barely going 3km run and walk to 5km and my time went from 40min to 28min. I lost 13 pounds(188 to 175) and my 32″ pants fit again. Heart rate is around 55 bpm and energy is better. My knees are the greatest and will do it as long as I can but running has done more for me than basic weight training and cycling.

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