Running and why its good for you

I love running.

It just makes me feel so good and robs me of all energy, that I feel I can gobble up one whole pizza after.

Yup that’s the kind of effect running gives me.

Whether it be on a basketball court when I go for a fast break or just jogging outdoors, the feeling of being able to release every ounce of stress you have after a rigorous workout is unparalleled.

So let me highlight the benefits of this cardiovascular wonder called running.

Running can improve cardiovascular health.

Regular running can help lower blood pressure and helps arteries maintain their elasticity. When you run, your arteries expand and contract approximately 3 times as much as they do when you are not doing anything. This means that a lot of changes are happening at the physiological level. This translates into reducing the risk of heart attach and stroke.

Running makes you look younger.

Yes, running slows down the aging process. It’s bad enough that we’re aging and losing muscle mass and bone. Running helps improve bone density because your whole body is in a continuous process of getting stronger by responding to its physical demands. Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle do not put this kind of demand on their bones and as a result, their bones become weaker. This leads to osteoporosis as they get older. On the other hand, those who run regularly are constantly challenging their muscles and bones so that they are stimulated to remain stronger and don’t weaken with age.

Running has great psychological benefits.

A lot of runners report being happier and less stressed than their counterparts who do not run or exercise at all. Running has the ability to alter an individuals moods because hormones called endorphins are released throughout the body while running. Have you every heard of the the word “endorphinated“? Its a euphoric feeling often referred to as a runner’s high and can result in an improvement in an individuals mood.

Running has also been reported to alleviate stress in people. One of the reasons is because running allows the person to focus on the task at hand instead of being stressed of life’s real problems. It serves as an escape that serves the moment ( Wow I can’t believe I just said that!) . Furthermore, it can be challenging on the body which can result in the individual sense of fulfillment especially if its a marathon or a 10K that can give one a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Improved coordination.

Another worthwhile benefit why one should go into running. I know running is so simple, but there is still a lot of coordination involved in running. Have you ever tried trail running? The uneven surface combined with obstacles such as rock,trees, dung and roots can make running quite difficult! You’d be surprised how your body will quickly learn to maintain better control to avoid tripping and stumbling. Running on a regular pavement on the other hand can also result in improved coordination because it forces the body to work together to keep your body upright and travelling in the correct path. That’s why people who run regularly run more fluidly than those who don’t run or engage in any type of regular exercise. How do you think they beat their personal time records? It’s efficiency and coordination!!

These are just some of the great reasons why you should start running. But don’t get too excited and immediately sign up for the 10K this weekend. Just like anything, you need a continuous build-up that focuses on foundation.

Try to build on your endurance first by starting small with light jogging and eventually move up to more serious running. Your body is a very intelligent machine that will definitely crave for more. And when it does, feed it!

Speaking about craving, I think I want some pizza!

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