23 Running Benefits & How Running Affects Your Body
We all know that engaging in any kind of exercise is excellent for your health. But running, in particular, is said to have health benefits that can go beyond any medicine a doctor can prescribe and it is the best way to get you back into shape.
So, how running affects your body?
You’ll be surprised.
1. Running keeps your sharper and rewires your brain.
2. Improves concentration, memory, and thinking.
3. Running can get your whole body in shape.
4. You get both physically and mentally fit.
5. Motivation to do things in general (those not so fun things).
6. It boosts energy levels.
7. Strengthens muscles.
8. It is a wonderful calorie blasting workout.
9. Improves your heart fitness.
10. Help to build strong bones.
11. It boosts metabolism.
12. It helps you lose and maintain ideal weight.
13. It helps you lower your blood pressure.
14. Reduces belly fat.
15. You will get happier.
16. Reduces depression.
17. Reduces stress.
18. Better sleep…
For me, running has been a state of meditation, a reliable weight manager, and metabolism booster, + I feel better in general.
Your Body Will Get Toned When Running
You can get a lot from planned and systematic running than just to maintain a balanced weight. Firmer bum? Yes! But that comes visible a bit later. 🙂 The first benefits you will notice are:
1. Energy levels. After a few weeks of running, your energy will soar. Full stop.
2. Flat stomach. I do not think this needs much explanation but it is always good to mention when something is good. When running, regardless if you have a beer belly or otherwise a bit bigger stomach, you will keep your stomach flat. And if you suffer from a bloated stomach, it will exist no more when you start running. This is especially valid for all those over 35. As we age, pounds just have a way of gluing themselves to our stomach and around our waist. Plus, if we relax with food and we add to that a drink or two, while not exercising, our system starts to scream faster for help than when we are younger. But if you run on a regular basis, you will not be affected by this accumulation of fat around your waist, you will gain less weight throughout your mid-life years than those who do not run at all, your metabolism will significantly improve as well as your digestions and the bloating feeling will vanish (personal experience).
3. Excess weight. Running can help you reach and maintain your ideal body weight. If you have a strategic weekly running plan, paired with healthy eating, in just four weeks you will feel as if your runs are getting lighter. One of the reasons is because you are slowly getting into the running mojo and the other reason is that you have lost weight. If you want to experience a slimmer body and positive results, ideally run 20-30 minutes, three times a week.
4. Ligaments and Tendons. This is not so visible to your eye, but with a short and enjoyable daily running, you will increase the strength of ligaments tendons.
5. Lungs. Running increases lung capacity which enables those who have asthma to breathe easily in the long turn.
6. Physical strength. Running increases the strength in your joints and tendons, which provides a lower risk of injrúry and more comfortable movement. It adds to overall physical endurance and improved stamina.
7. Bone density. Regular running stimulates bones to remain strong and do not get influenced by age.
8. Muscles. Once you lose weight and the excess fat is gone, when running extended period of time, you will start noticing that your muscles are getting toned and stronger and some parts of your body will get an amazing shape and they feel more firm.
9. Legs& arms. When you run, your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps all are active, and your muscles will contract more often which will result in greater muscular endurance. Your legs start to look and feel strong and you might even have very defined thighs. Your arms and tummy will start to get good muscle definition too.
When younger, I was a little chubby girl. I hated it. Tried all possible diets, nothing worked. Since I started running, I have never been on a diet, and my weight has been more or less the same for the past 25 years (minus the long knee recovery period where I was not able to run nor do any exercise for two whole years).
Running is a sure way to help you quickly lose an excess amount of weight.
10. Your bum. After two or three months of regular running, your fitness has rocketed, you are firm up all around, and now, at this point, your bum will wobble a lot less. 🙂
Running is a General Health Booster
11. Heart. Running is a most effective cardio booster, it brings more blood to the tissue cells, and it lovers resting heart rate. People who run for two-three times a week can reduce their risk of heart disease by almost half compared to non-runners.
12. Finnish scientists claim that running helps ward off cancer. After studying the health of a group of 2,560 middle-aged men over the course of roughly 17 years, in a 2009 study, Finnish scientist found that the men who were physically active were the least likely to develop cancer. What was more interesting was that those who ran – or did an exercise of a similar intensity – for 30 minutes a day were the most protected, exhibiting “a 50 percent reduction in the risk of dying prematurely from cancer.
13. Stronger immune system. The best thing to do to stay healthy and live longer is to exercise and run. When running, you boost your immune system, which helps you fight infection and disease regardless of your age. Here is why. As a person ages, the thymus, the area responsible for the hormones that control the immune system, starts shrinking. But when running, the thymus does not shrink at all because these new immune cells are created by muscles. 🙂 So, when running, you will make lots of the immune hormone that keeps the thymus working optimally, and you will have the same amount of new immune cells. You actually delay aging through running and you will experience fewer days of sickness from the common cold and other infections.
14. Anxiety & Insomnia. Moderate exercise such as running can improve sleep. A 2012 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found out that just 30 minutes of running during the week can boost sleep quality, mood, and concentration during the day.
15. Eyesight. This is something even I did not know, but running will keep your eyesight healthy. A Medicine and Science Sports and Exercise published a research study where it was shown that people who run who run have a 41 percent lower risk of developing cataracts, the leading cause of age-related vision loss and blindness.
16. Libido up. With regular exercise such as running, it can also help you will be in the ‘mood for love’ more often and your love life will improve significantly.
17. Running Benefits for Skin & Face. When running often, you will sweat better, your circulation improves the transportation of nutrients around your system flushing waste products and you can rid your pores of the toxins that clog them and leads to pimples and blackheads. Your skin will boost natural oils, keeping your skin and pores fresh and healthy and your complexion glowing
18. Runners live longer. In one study, researchers followed about 1,000 adults (ages 50 and older) for 21 years. At the end of the study, 85 percent of the runners were still doing pretty well, while only 66 percent of the non-runners were alive.
Mental Health – Happier and More Focused
19. Increased mental function. By going running, you can increase mental function – as it boosts blood flow to the brain and helps to receive oxygen and nutrients making you more productive at work or in school. You will become a quick learner. It will make you feel better, improve your mood by releasing endorphins as well as tension from your body tension. It gives you better focus and spiritual awareness.
20 Dementia. Dementia is a common problem in the older age. When running, you are far less likely to suffer from this problem even in your 80s.
21. Depression. Whether you are furious at something or someone, bitter, aggravated, angry, upset, agitated, anxious or depressed, running will take care of it. Test it. When I started running, I ran every day for 20-30 minutes for a month. My mood improved, I slept better and was able to focus, first in school and later at work.
P.S. Running is probably the best way to beat Monday blues.
22. Stress away. Running will make you more stress resistant.
23.Happiness. Have you heard of “runner’s high?” Researchers have discovered that the “runner’s high”, usually attributed to endorphins – the body’s self-produced opiates – may actually be caused by endocannabinoids, self-produced chemicals similar to those found in marijuana. Thus, running triggers the production of endocannabinoids that makes you happier. Which is most likely why runners are considered to be happier people than those who do not run. Runners are also easy going, they cope better with stress and running can make you high… and I have experienced it. 🙂 Actually, you can experience the ‘high’ feeling with any kind of exercise. Personally, I had such experience on various occasions when running over 10K long runs. It felt as if I had taken a mood-altering drug and as an intense euphoria and intense feeling of happiness.
Running is perfect for any fitness level, and it offers excellent health benefits. Many running benefits are even backed by various scientific studies. One thing is for sure, when running your overall energy and fitness will soar and your health will improve. When it comes to your look, your skin will shine, and people will not be able to give you the exact number of age (thanks to running, I look at least 10 years younger, at least others say so 🙂 ).