Many experts believe the human body is shaped the way it is because we have evolved to become endurance runners. Running can significantly improve mental and physical health. As a form of exercise, it can alleviate symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and improve heart health. Running prevents obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers while building strength. Here’s how running can help you live a longer, healthier life.
1. Running Makes You Happier
No matter how good or bad you feel, exercise will make you feel better. Just a 30-minute walk can lift the mood in someone suffering from depression. Studies have shown that moderate exercise can help people cope with anxiety symptoms and stress even long after your workout is complete. It can also improve sleep quality, and boost concentration throughout the day.
2. Running Helps You Lose Weight
Running not only burns calories while you’re doing it, but it also continues after you stop. This process is called EPOC which stands for excess post oxygen consumption. You don’t have to be a sprinter to reap this benefit. Running at a high intensity for 30 minutes three times a week will create this afterburn effect. A study b Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that runners lost more weight than walkers over a six-year period.
3. Running Strengthens Your Joints
The idea that running is hard on your knees is popular fitness misconception. Running prevents osteoporosis and increases bone mass. Running does not cause arthritis or osteoarthritis like many believe. Arthritis will affect your body as you age regardless if you run or not. Running strengthens the ligaments that support the joints, and makes them less susceptible to strains and sprains that can damage cartilage.
4. It Prevents Disease
Running can lower the risk of breast cancer in women and reduce the risk of stroke. Many physicians recommend running for patients in the early stages of osteoporosis, diabetes, and high blood pressure to prevent a heart attack. Running improves the strength of the heart and helps the arteries retain their elasticity.
5. Running Is The Best Leg Workout
Running benefits the body’s most significant muscle which is the legs. The gluteus maximus, quads, calves, hamstrings, and inner and outer thighs are getting a serious workout all at one time. Running on an incline or a decline is more demanding on your muscles and will give you a more effective all over toning workout.