There are generally two types of people: those who love running and those who, well, don’t. It’s pretty easy to spot the diehard runners amongst us. They’re the ones out pounding the pavement and the ones who race to claim ‘their’ treadmill as soon as the gym door opens.
Whether you are a seasoned marathoner or just starting out, running is one of the best cardio workouts on the block. Hitting up the treadmill or hitting the track offers a raft of tremendous mind-body benefits, from lengthening your life to staving off depression. Love it or hate it, here are seven reasons to hit the ground running.
Running Is Free
The best bit about running is that you can do it almost anywhere – wherever your journey takes you. Perfect for when you’re away on holidays if the gym is your usual place of workout.
Anybody Can Do It
Running doesn’t require exceptional athletic prowess or innate talent. Beginners should take care to ease their way into running to avoid injury or burnout. Start off by alternating brief bursts of running with walking, then gradually introducing longer and longer running distances. Also, always allow for ample recovery time – this means scheduling in rest days and cross-training sessions.
It Burns Major Calories
Running trumps nearly every other cardiovascular exercise from a calorie-burn perspective, including cycling, swimming, and using the cross-trainer.
Running Makes You Happy
You know the so-called ‘runner’s high’? Yes, that’s really a thing. Although all forms of exercise trigger a surge of feel-good endorphins in the brain, there is nothing quite as powerful as that post-run euphoria.
Running Protects Your Brain
Want to be smarter? Run more. Studies have found that running keeps the brain sharper over time.
Running Strengthens Your Joints and Bones
A weight-bearing exercise, running strengthens the bones and joints. Running is directly correlated with increases in bone mineral density and may help to reduce age-related bone loss, studies show.
Running Extends Your Life
Running, regardless of the duration or speed, is a powerful elixir against mortality. And you don’t need to run marathons to reap the life-extending benefits of running.