Why Should I Run?
Why should you run? It’s not like you can’t lose weight by hitting the gym. Building huge muscles burns a lot of energy, and even keeping those muscles requires a lot of energy. This increases your daily calories needed, making it easier to lose weight. You can pick any exercise, get strong, look fit – what’s not to love? It sure beats the gut-wrenching, no-fun, tough, muscle-destroying exercise known as cardio.
Here’s why: because that’s wrong. Running is one of the healthiest and safest forms of exercise. Running is very dynamic and there is no “one true way” for doing it; you can run in any way you wish – however there are some general guidelines. (Similar to weight-lifting.) Sprinting can build strong legs that can power through the toughest challenge, and distance running can grow your heart and cardiovascular system to great lengths. Your muscles will expand rather than shrink – especially your calves, they will be grow bigger than you would have ever expected.
Your body adapts and instead of it being gut-wrenching, it becomes exhilarating. Reaching goals and pumping up to new heights is what running is all about.
When I started running, I questioned why in the world I was doing it. “I’m no athlete, I’m not a powerhouse. What am I doing?”
Then I saw growths. My body changed, for the better. Rather than dreading every workout, I began accepting and even becoming excited for it. Now here’s why you should run:
Why You Should Run:
A few of the benefits are obvious, such as heart-health, but others aren’t so obvious. Your muscles, cardiorespiratory and cardiovascular system, bones, joints, and mental health are all affected – positively. Let’s break it down even further to realize how this actually works.
Running Develops the Cardiovascular System.
The cardiovascular system is one of our most vital systems in our body; blood is pumped through arteries and veins and supplies materials such as water and oxygen to our muscles and cells. When your heart rate is elevated for extended periods of time, this stresses your heart and the rest of your cardiovascular system. In order to deal with this, the body will increase the number of capillaries and mitochondria within you, along with improving the strength of the heart.
Capillaries are the smallest tubing in your cardiovascular system. It is neither vein nor artery, and is where the blood goes to drop off materials to your cells. The more capillaries you have, the more materials your cells can get in a shorter period of time. This is why endurance runners can last longer and longer on the road as they continue to train.
Mitochondria are structures inside of our cells that convert sugar to energy. Our muscles require many mitochondria in order to get enough energy to move, and it has been found that as age increases, mitochondria decreases. This is why the elderly are often pictured as weaker and slower moving – they simply can’t produce as much energy. Running promotes mitochondrial growth in our cells, thus leading to a much more energetic self.
The Core, Bones, and Joints are Strengthened.
The core muscles (including back muscles) are constantly utilized by running, leading to increased muscle mass in that region. Not only does this come with good looks, but it greatly helps reduce back pain and the potential for back problems down the road. A healthy core drastically improves day-to-day life, as we constantly swivel and twist our torso. Picking up a penny off of the ground, gardening, or just standing still all activate and use the core muscles. Your core is incredibly important, and running improves it greatly.
As running is a high-impact sport, the bones and joints also suffer from wear and tear, but this is a good thing; the joints and bones will repair themselves and become stronger, improving skeletal health.
This works in a similar fashion to how weight training leads to growth – muscles suffer micro-tears which then the body rebuilds. Instead, bones suffer from micro-fractures, which then the body repairs during rest. The growth comes from super compensation, which means that you regain the lost tissue, and then some.
Mental Health is a Big Plus.
Running clears the head and gives you time to ponder and exist in your own thoughts. Harmful stress is caused by an overload of anything. Running removes the worry behind the current problems by distracting you and breaking up routine. Dopamine is released during exercise, which increases happiness and reduces the stress on the body.
Studies have found that running had a profuse effect for reducing the effects of mild-to-moderate depression and alleviates anxiety. Also, if you find yourself with a low self-esteem, running can help as it boosts confidence.
Exercise therapy is becoming increasingly more prevalent in treatment of clinical depression and stress-related symptoms. Running is perfect for reducing stress and elevating happiness, there are many benefits to this sport. The sooner you start, the faster you can reel in these benefits. Exercise is a wonderful activity, and as long as you keep safe, there are no downsides.
Want to start running now?
Caleb Thompson is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and other Amazon stores worldwide.
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