When I first started losing weight, the main exercise I was doing was walking, and plenty of it. However, as time went on and my waistline decreased, I found myself taking the intensity up and level and decided to get into running.
For my weight at the time it was a lot more challenging than walking for obvious reasons, I was still heavy. However, the amount of confidence I gained from running again and again and the improvements that I saw really helped keep me on the right path.
I don’t run as much as I used to. Nowadays I get most of my exercise in the gym, and my cardio is mainly high intensity interval training (or HIIT) but I’ll always have a place in my heart for running on the open road.
Here’s some of the main reasons I recommend running to anyone who’s looking to improve their health:
You don’t need any equipment
Well, apart from the obvious clothes and running shoes. Running is great because it asks very little of you financially. There’s no gym memberships or fancy accessories you need to buy for a good run.
All you need is yourself, your will and an open space. I always find early morning runs are the most satisfying. You can get on the street before the traffic kicks up, the sidewalks are empty and there’s an endearing quietness that I can’t get enough of.
Not only that, if you get up early enough you can time it so that you can get back, have a shower and still make it to work with the added benefit of already getting your morning exercise in.
Improves Your Endurance
Of course, one of the great benefits of running is that it is good for your stamina and endurance. The more of it you do, the better at it you get.
By pushing your body past what it’s comfortable with, you give it a new standard for what it needs to adapt to. With constantly running and pushing yourself, your body will repair your muscles so they will be able to perform better than it did the last time.
The more you run, the better you get, and the more strength your muscles will have to help lengthen your stamina and overall endurance.
Lowers Stress and Makes You Feel Good
Another good reason to run more is that it can help to manage your stress levels. The main reason for this is that running is a form of exercise that releases endorphins.
Endorphins are peptides that are released when you’re exercising which helps you feel good. They do this by activating your body’s opiate receptors.
This can help lower your overall stress levels and improves your overall feelings of well-being that can help you feel better throughout the day.
Reduces Chance of Diseases
Regular running sessions can also help prevent and fight against disease. One of the main thing running can help is your heart health. In doing so you can help fight against problems with circulation, blood clots and heart disease.
Running also helps improve your overall lung fitness which can help against issues in that area too. Regular running is also good for promoting healthy cholesterol which can help with overall health.
Combined with all of this, keeping a general level of fitness by running is a good way to keep your body in great shape as well as strengthening your immune system.
It Can Help You Lose Weight
As you know, running is also an incredibly popular way for you to lose weight. It’s believed you burn around 100 calories for every mile of running you do.
Running a few times a week is a great way to get your overall ‘calories-out’ up. The more calories you have going out (used) than going in (consumed) the more weight you will use. Running is a good activity for doing this, and is also good for your health and physical performance.
Running Clears Your Head
For me, I love running because it’s great for clearing your head. Especially if it is outdoors. I don’t find you get the same clarity from running on a treadmill.
Taking to the streets and running outdoors is fantastic for clearing your mind. You don’t have to think about much apart from where you’re going and putting one front in front of the other. It’s a very personal and ‘in the moment’ experience that can take your mind off things and let other problems melt away.
I find running outdoors around a park or in the countryside works best for this. You’re not competing with anyone, you’re just outside, running and enjoying nature.
It’s great. If you’re not already, it’s something that you really need to try sometime.
All the best,