There is no denying it — running is hard. Yet, no matter if you are a seasoned marathoner or a treadmill warrior, it is great for your overall health. The benefit of going for a run is that it can be done anytime, anywhere — all you need is a good pair of shoes! It is a great way to maintain fitness and strength, but running can also improve your mental and physical health, and help fight disease.
Keep scrolling to find out why running is good for your body and mind
Want to live longer? Lace up and hit the trails! Studies show that running can cause a 30% decrease in mortality risk, and that two hours each week can also add 3 years to your lifespan. If running for two hours a week sounds like a daunting task, the study also reports that even 5 to 10 minutes of daily running can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Improves lung capacity
Running can also help keep your lungs healthy. Though running on a regular basis cannot improve lung function (when it’s gone, it’s gone), it improves your lungs’ capacity to satisfy the increased oxygen demand needed while running. If you establish a running habit, your lung capacity can be improved by 5 to 15% through this aerobic exercise.
Promotes cardiovascular health
As the lungs supply the body with oxygen, the heart delivers it to the muscles. Going for runs can increase your aerobic capacity just as it does your lung capacity. Studies have found that those who run 30 minutes to 1 hour a week, decreased their risk of cardiovascular death by 58%, as compared to those who do not run at all. So just a few minutes a day can drastically improve your heart health!
Chronic stress can affect the brain and can manifest in both our mood and body. It can cause symptoms such as irritability, depression, lack of motivation, aches and pains, headache, fatigue, and sleep problems. That’s where running comes in. It helps us let go of tension and anxiety by releasing endorphins to the brain. These endorphins are our body’s natural painkiller, reducing our body’s perception of pain and triggering positive feelings. So there is reason to believe that if the body feels better, so will the mind.
There are many benefits to running beyond the physical aesthetics that are often associated with this aerobic exercise. If you want to try running regularly, start small and set attainable goals. The hardest part about running is finding a way to continuously show up for yourself.