What draws so many people to the sport of running is the fact that everyone can do it. You don’t need special skills, pricey gear, athletic ability, or even good genes. All you need is a good pair of shoes and a little motivation. The motivation can be the hardest part.
Running workouts burn more calories per minute than pretty much any other exercise. For example, the average 140-pound woman who runs at a 10-minute mile pace for an hour burns 512 calories (Pilates- 384, walking-225, swimming-448). Getting rid of all those calories sheds body fat and strengthens and tones the lean muscle below.
Research shows that running will help you live longer and stay healthier. Runners have a 39% lower risk of dying an early death compared to healthy adults of the same age. Running can also help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, and even cancer.
Your mental health benefits from running as well. A study found that areas in the brain associated with mood are flooded with endorphins after you exercise. When running, your arms, legs and breathing fall into a rhythm that eventually lulls your brain into a meditative “no-stress” mode.
Rewards Outweigh The Risks
Critics may say that the constant pounding ruins your knees and leads to chronic back pain. But in reality, the rewards of running far outweigh the risks. Researchers suggest that because running builds stronger muscles and ligaments, it actually has a protective effect on your body.
First step, go buy a good pair of running shoes. Second step, get off the couch and take a jog outside! It’s never too late to feel good and do good for your mind and body.