Obviously there are a number of great reasons for taking up running, here are our top 5 benefits of running:
1. Increase your strength and stamina
Running will give you extra stamina and help prevent you feeling tired / out of breath in other areas of your life. It is also effective for strengthening your whole body, including your leg muscles, abs and even your shoulders and upper body.
2. Lose weight and burn fat
The average person will burn around 1,000 calories an hour through running. This is roughly double the calories which would be burned through cycling for the same time. Whilst people often state that you burn more fat when doing low intensity exercise, this is not quite true. Whilst you will burn a higher ratio of fat at lower intensity (such as through walking), you will burn far fewer calories, so if you want to burn the most fat in your 30 minute work out, you should run. There is also evidence to suggest that you will continue to benefit from a run after stopping, as your body will store less of your food as fat the next day!
3. Reduce stress
There are a number of studies which show that running reduces stress on every day life. Running produces a flood of endorphins into the brain which attach themselves to areas of the brain associated with emotions, this can lift moods and even cause a feeling of euphoria. You can read more about this here.
4. Strengthen your heart and bones
As running requires more blood to be pumped around the body, your heart will start to become more efficient at doing this and therefore stronger and healthier. You will experience this as a lower resting heart-rate and it can mean reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Running is a load bearing exercise and as such causes the tendons and muscles to constantly pull on your bones, your body will respond by producing new and stronger bone. Research shows that high impact exercise is the best for this, as impact causes the biggest response from your bones. This means that running will help prevent bone problems such as osteoporosis.
5. Sleep better
It’s a fact that runners will find it easier to get to sleep and will sleep longer and more soundly than non-runners. However, there is a slight price to pay for this as runners will require more sleep for recovery – you might find yourself wanting to go to bed half an hour earlier if you’ve done a hard run that day!