There are a number of different benefits which
an individual can gain from running on a regular basis. There are some runners
who run simply for the joy of running but there are others who run because they
realize there are a great deal of benefits which can be gained from rigorous
exercise such as running. Some of these benefits may include weight loss,
improved cardiovascular health, improved bone health, improved mood and better
coordination. This article will briefly describe how running can result in each
of these benefits.
Those who are looking to lose a few pounds often find running to be one of the
most effective forms of exercise for helping them to achieve their ideal body
weight. Running is an excellent form of exercise for losing weight because it
requires a great deal of energy. This energy requirement means the body burns a
large number of calories while running. The number of calories burned while
running is typically significantly more than would be burned during less taxing
forms of exercise such as walking or doing yoga. The simplest formula for weight
loss includes burning off more calories than the individual consumes. When this
type of calorie deficit is created, the body begins to shed excess weight in the
form of fat. In order to lose one pound of body weight, the body must create a
calorie deficit of 3500 calories. This is equal to burning 500 calories per day.
Most runners can easily burn off this many calories in less than one hour of
exercise. The number of calories burned while running depends on a number of
factors including the individualís weight, the intensity of the workout and the
efficiency of the runner.
Improved cardiovascular health is another benefit of running. Some of the
benefits of running include lowering the blood pressure and helping the arteries
to maintain their elasticity. While runner, the arteries expand and contract
approximately three times as much as they do when you are sedentary. This means
you are not only working out to improve your physical appearance but also the
overall function of your body. In doing this the risk of heart attack and stroke
Running is also beneficial for slowing down the aging process. Those who run
regularly are less likely to experience bone and muscle loss as they age at the
same pace as those who do not run regularly or at all. The bones grow and become
stronger by responding to physical demands. Those who lead a rather sedentary
lifestyle do not put this type of demand on their bones and as a result the
bones may become weaker. When this happens the individual is more likely to be
susceptible to osteoporosis as they age. Conversely, those who run on a regular
basis are continually taxing their muscles and their bones so the bones are
stimulated to remain stronger and do not as easily weaken with age.
Running can also have many psychological benefits. Most significantly runners
typically report being happier and feeling less stressed than their counterparts
who do not run or exercise regularly. Running actually has the ability to alter
an individuals moods because hormones called endorphins are released while
running. These hormones create a sense of euphoria often referred to as a
runnerís high and can result in an improvement in the runnerís mood. Running has
also been reported to alleviate stress in most runners. There are a number of
factors which may contribute to running lowering stress levels. One of the most
obvious reasons is the act of running allows the individual to focus on the task
at hand instead of being worried or stressed about work, family or other
stressors in his daily life. Additionally, running can be very challenging on
the body which can result in the individual feeling a sense of accomplishment by
completing the run which shifts the focus of his attention from negative
stressors to a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Improved coordination is another worthwhile benefit which may be gained from
running. This may seem surprising to many who assume it is not possible to gain
these types of benefits from running simply because it is such a simple sport.
However, there is some coordination involved in running. Trail running which
involves running on unpaved trails especially requires a great deal of
coordination. The uneven surface combined with obstacles such as rocks and tree
roots can make trail running quite difficult. However, runners who regularly run
on these types of services, quickly learn to maintain better control over their
bodies to prevent tripping and stumbling while running. Even running on a flat
surface which is paved can also result in improved coordination because it
forces the body to work together to keep the runner upright and traveling in the
correct path. Those who run regularly typically move more fluidly than those who
do not run or engage in any type of regular exercise.
The video clip above is from my DVD about running stetches and other running related information. Click on the DVD case below to find out more.