10 Benefits of Running

1) Running can help you Lose weight – running is second only to cross-country skiing in burning calories per minute. Seeing as it’s unlikely you’ll be skiing to the shops anytime soon then running is your best bet for losing body fat. If you’re struggling to control your cravings then the good news is that running tends to lessen your appetite.

2) Running Can slow down the aging process – the natural process of muscle and bone loss as we age can be slowed down in the bodies of frequent runners. Muscles and bones get healthier and stronger due to the demands put on them by a regular pounding around a track or a park. This means you are more likely to delay or avoid the effects of osteoporosis. But don’t just take our word for it; read an interview at New Scientist with a man who is still running marathons in his 80s!

3) Running and Better sex! – scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health showed that men who were physically active (such as runners) had 30% less chance of developing problems in the bedroom and that the increased blood flow around the body caused by regular exercise meant that both men and women experienced a more ‘potent love life’. Sounds good to us!

4) Running to Lower blood pressure – when you run your arteries get flexed more, in effect giving them a work out at the same time as you. By maintaining the flexibility of your arteries in this way you’ll also be making sure your blood pressure is lowered.

5) Running makes for Healthier lungs – by taking deep breaths during your run you are forcing your lungs to use more of their potential, up to 50% of the lung tissue you don’t normally use! If you’re a smoker then one of the benefits of jogging can be recovering large proportions of your lung potential.

6) Running Boosts your brain – regular runners have significantly improved mental skills as they get older than more sedentary people. Also just 25 minutes of aerobic exercise has been shown to boost creativity.

7) Running Improves your mood – there’s no doubt about it, one of the main benefits of running is the great feeling you get by getting away from all the stresses and strains of everyday life. Be it running through woodlands, along the street or on a treadmill, when the endorphins start coursing through your system everything might just seem to be a bit more manageable. BBC News has a great article on how Ronnie Sullivan used running to combat his depression.

8) Running assists with a Stronger cardiovascular system – your heart and lungs will get stronger and more efficient when they get a regular chance to show off their stuff.

9) Running and Lowering cholesterol – running increases the levels of High Density Lipoproteins (the “good” kind of cholesterol) in your body while reducing the Low Density Lipoproteins (the “bad” kind). This can lower your chances of having a stroke or heart attack.

10) Running and Joining the community! – thousands of people around the country run everyday and you can join them. There are loads of clubs and communities you can get involved with and make new and enthusiastic friends who’ll support you in reaching your goals.

[source: www.therunningbug.co.uk]