If you’re a runner who enjoys the thrill of lacing up your shoes and hitting the road every day for a nice, long run, then you’ll be pleased to discover that running not only is good for your body, but it is also beneficial for your mental health.
Really, there are so many reasons as to why you should start running, from strengthening your heart to having less stress in life. In this article, we list our top seven points on how Running helps you stay in shape, as well as stay positive after finishing that run. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Running works out your whole body.
While this is a common reason that people take up running in the first place, it is important also to acknowledge that building muscle is essential not only to look good but also to decrease chances of getting injured or stiff when moving around.
That said, running does a great job of targeting critical areas of the body, including the legs and core, which in turn helps improve posture and endurance when it comes to being on your feet all day.
Running improves cardiovascular health.
Besides helping build muscle on the outside, running also builds muscle inside, particularly in the heart. When working out, blood flow increases and the heart needs to pump faster in order to accommodate for the change in circulation.
As a result, the heart becomes stronger and even at rest, it continues to beat solidly, thereby contributing to a stable, healthy cardiovascular system.
Running helps you destress.
If you ever feel like you’re under pressure or even feeling a bit sluggish, going out for a short run can help you unwind a bit. Doing so takes some of that weight off, resulting in a calmer state of mind.
How does this work? Essentially, when you run, the central nervous system (CNS) produces chemicals that affect your body’s physical state. Such chemicals produced include endorphins, which you experience right after you finish a run in the form of a “runner’s high.” It’s your body’s natural drug, and it’s not a bad one to attain!
Running makes you more outgoing.
This is especially true if you have a running buddy or are part of a running club; having someone to run with not only helps you push yourself to become a better runner, but it is also reassuring to have someone there to guide you along the way.
In particular, if you’re a shy person, then running with others is a great way to put yourself out there, establish relationships, and even create long-term friendships with them.
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Running affects your diet.
Since running requires a lot of energy, you end up increasing your metabolism and thereby changes how and what you eat. True, junk food can be consumed, but it does not have any nutritional value, let alone make you feel sluggish and sick.
Hence, running ends up altering your diet, with one that consists of a lot of complex carbohydrates (e.g. whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes), protein (e.g. grilled chicken), and iron supplements. Of course, you mustn’t forget to keep everything in moderation, as well as balance it out with fruits, vegetables, and calcium.
Running keeps you focused on the important things.
You might not realize this, but aside from benefitting your physical health, running also makes you productive when it comes to everyday routine. From running errands to completing work, you might find yourself more focused and dedicated.
How does this happen? For one thing, it’s due to your daily runs: having a consistent running routine (especially early in the morning) ends up creating a trickle-down effect when it comes to other aspects of your life. As a consequence, it affects how you go about the rest of the day, which in the end can produce great results.
Running makes you happy.
This point closely ties in with that in #3, for having a less stressful life can help you be happier overall. In fact, it is an accumulation of all of the points describe, from developing a strong physique to establishing friendships with others.
Therefore, it is a good idea to consider running, for it’s able to give you happiness in the simplest form: all you need is a solid pair of running shoes, a determined state of mind, and you’re set!
If you know someone who loves running and hiking, you can check out this awesome post from Look What’s Cool.
Altogether, there’s so much more to running than just acquiring a good body. While many runners start out with that goal in mind, they soon realize that running also has a positive impact on their mental health. From being more sociable to becoming more focused on other aspects of life, running just might be the key to your happiness.
Enjoyed this article? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. Happy running!
Disclaimer: All images are provided by the author.
Jessica Natalie is a health and fitness lifestyle blogger who is passionate about running and wants to spread the love on her blog CauseILoveRunning.com