Top 9 Benefits of running.

I'm sure it doesn’t come as a surprise to you that cardio exercise is good for your health. We all know how important it is that we get some conditioning in.

People run for different reasons: some to lose weight, some enjoy the runner's high, some want to reach a certain time or distance goal. But did you know that getting in a quick run can help improve memory? There are so many extraordinary benefits of running that go way beyond the things we always hear. Let's begin!

1. Stress Relief

Difficult day? Go for a jog! This has been proven to relieve stress. When running, you tend to clear your mind. If you push yourself, you can even achieve what is known as that runner’s high. During physical activity, endorphins are released (aka those feel-good neurotransmitters in your brain) which leave you feeling like you’re on cloud nine!

2. Weight Loss

This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s important to remember. According to the U.S. Department of Health, in the United States alone, 2 out of 3 adults are considered overweight or obese. Running is one of the best activities for weight loss. And high-intensity exercises such as interval or tempo runs burn more calories than low-intensity exercise such as walking. Even after finishing, your body continues to burn calories for an extended period of time, known as the "after-burn." Plus it is a quick, efficient way to do so. Going on long walks is great, but if you can push it up to a run more calories will be burned faster.

3. Increase Energy

When is your favorite time to workout? In the morning before work? Later in the evening? Many think that you’ll be worn out after a jog, but the truth is that it can give you an energy boost! Morning or night, keep it moving to get that extra lift. It's best to try and stick to a similar routine for this. 

4. Prevent Disease

Those doctors that tell you, “Oh it’s good for your health!” They aren’t lying. Running has been proven to help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even some cancers! Every time you run, you increase your cardiovascular endurance (aka your heart is getting stronger!) So tie those laces tight and build up the most important muscle in your body. <3

5. Improve Endurance

No one wants to feel winded after jogging to the end of the block. Whether training for your first 5K or working on a personal best time for your next marathon, the more you run the more you build endurance.

Endurance is not only referring to the ability to stay active over time and increase stamina, but also the ability to withstand fatigue, pain, or stress. Improving endurance can be a feel-good accomplishment in itself, but it is linked to everything else I've mentioned such as relieving stress, increasing energy, and preventing diseases! 

6. Build Muscle

Running is already known as a great aerobic exercise to burn fat. But in addition, it helps build muscles, especially in the legs. Sprinting in particular can trigger the exact same muscles you’re working on during that tough leg-day.  Always remember, strength training is still important. So although you build muscles during sprints, make sure to cross train with strength exercises. 

7. Improve Mood

Alright cranky pants! Remember that runner’s high I mentioned before? This goes beyond that! In a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, researchers showed that a single bout of walking or running on a treadmill for 30 minutes can instantly lift the mood of someone suffering from a major depressive order. You can check out that cool study here.

So cheer up cranky pants and go for a jog!

8. Improve Memory

I know, seems crazy, right?! It’s true! Running and other aerobic exercises have been proven to enhance memory even more so than resistance and strength training. In a study done at the University of British Columbia, researchers found that aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus (the area of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning). Aerobic exercise does this by reducing insulin resistance and inflammation, while stimulating the release of growth factors (chemicals in the brain that affect brain cells, the growth of blood vessels, and even the survival of new brain cells).

9. Strengthen Bones

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Momma always told you to drink milk so your bones stay strong, right? Well, I've got a little something to add to that advice - go out for a jog! Running helps with this because it's such a high impact sport. Every stride taken puts stress on your bones. The body recognizes this stress and adjusts to increases bone density. 

Recap

Running has so many health benefits, it may surprise you. Doesn't matter how far you run or how long you go, just work up that motivation, lace up those sneakers, and get out there and run! Your body and mind will thank you!

Charge on,

Julie

PS - If you need help with that motivation, join me for a run! 

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