The Benefits of Running


This piece is inspired by an article in Runners World, November 2011. 

Running protects your heart, slows down the ageing process, and generally improves your health in many ways, some unexpected….

Running gives you a mental buzz that makes you believe you can achieve your goals. Running raises self-esteem, your expectations of yourself and of life. This in turn lowers physique anxiety. 

Running lowers your risk of diabetes type 2. 

A 30 minute run sharpens your mind, improves reaction times and reasoning ability. This benefit shows a marked effect in older runners. 

If you regularly run for 45 minutes your metabolism is boosted for 14 hours subsequently. So you continue to burn fat over and above the excess removed during the run. 

Running is a great way to deal with negative feelings and especially to fight depression. 30 minutes, 3 – 5 times a week helps people to stay calm. Clinically depressed people who exercise are less likely to relapse than those who rely on pills alone. 

Contrary to current thoughts and general comments made about running, the impact of regular runs builds bone density. 15-20 miles a week has a major impact on long-term bone health, protecting the body from stress fractures and the negative effects on bone density from the menopause. 

Short sprints can drastically reduce the frequency of asthma attacks. Lung function is boosted by fartleks. 

Both distance runners and sprinters who do 30 second bursts of speed have a lower risk of heart disease. Also pregnant exercisers give birth to babies with better cardiovascular profiles. 

Another myth is that running is bad for your knees. A long-term study from Stanford University has concluded that runners who regularly clocked 5 runs of 60 minutes each week suffered drastically fewer joint problems in later life. The process of tightening and strengthening the joints starts in the first week of running, so no need to wait for these benefits. 

6 hours of running a week will burn a pound of fat! 

40 minutes of running a week for 12 weeks will get rid of long term constipation issues. 

Running lowers your blood pressure. 

3 runs of 45 minutes per week for 4 months will boost your muscle mass. 

Running reduces cholesterol. It is the most effective exercise for this issue. 

Runners have better sex lives according to Inactive males have a higher incidence of erectile dysfunction, 71%, and an hour of aerobic exercise 4 times per week improves quality and quantity of sexual encounters. I feel a lot could be inferred here and I leave it to you to interpret this one as it works best for you. 

Running slashes your risk of silent strokes by almost 50%. A silent stroke is caused by tiny blockages in the blood vessels in the brain which damage the brain tissue but do not leave the same devastating outward signs of a stroke. 

And back to Stanford’s research which is a wild read, and proves that runners do live longer…….