Everyone enjoys some kind of physical activity in their day-to-day life that makes them feel energized. There are different types of cardio exercises such as rowing, swimming, cycling, kettlebells, jumping rope, running, etc. that are known to reinvigorate our body. Of these, I believe that running comes very naturally to all of us. It is the best form of cardio workout that is convenient, exhilarating, nourishing, and can be carried out at any time of the year.
What are the Benefits of Running every day?
Running strengthens the Knee-Joints
You may worry that running may hurt your knees over time. But according to the study done in 2016, running actually is good for your knee-joints and keeps them functioning smoothly. Running regularly for half-hour reduces the level of inflammation and may prevent arthritis, says Robert D. Hyldahl, who is one of the researchers in the above study.
Running Contributes to Weight-Loss
High-intensity aerobic exercise like running burns calories faster than low-intensity workouts. To burn even more calories, inject intermittent periods of uphill running in your workout. If you run outdoors, you will have to find an appropriate running stretch with hills and a flat terrain. This is even easier when you have a treadmill at home. You can adjust the speed, fitness level, duration, etc. when running on a treadmill. In today’s uncertain times, when we have fewer outdoor gym options, having a treadmill at home is a perfect way to burn fat and reach your fitness goals. When you have the equipment at home, we have no excuse to not exercise, plus you save on time and gas.
If you are worried about space, consider investing in foldable equipment such as the Sole folding treadmill, which is one of the respected treadmill brands known for its durability and is the highest-rated foldable treadmill. While on the treadmill, you can gradually increase the intensity of your workout with HIIT(High-Intensity Interval Training) that involves a combination of normal pace running and high sprints.
Running Builds Muscle and Stamina
Consistent running may build your muscle as per a study in the Journal of Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews. Aerobic exercise improves skeletal muscle growth, particularly for beginners. If you have been running for a long time, you may find that you have more strength than before in terms of your capability to run longer or have noticed improved muscle mass.
Running Improves Memory
Neuroscientists at Cambridge University have shown that running stimulates the formation of new brain cells and helps increase the grey matter, which has a significant impact on one’s mental health. This is especially important as you age. The recollection of memories is improved with regular running because there is a regeneration of new cells in the brain.
Running Improves Mood and is Good for the Brain
Just a few minutes of running every day also affects your mood. This is helpful for people suffering from depression who can include running as a part of their therapy. Scientists have found that it triggers the release of feel-good hormones by increasing the blood flow to your brain, thereby reducing the level of a stress hormone called cortisol.
Running Maintains Cardiovascular Health and Lung Capacity
Compared to non-runners, runners have a lower risk of dying early due to cardiovascular diseases. They have a high chance of living longer compared to sedentary individuals. According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, running for just five to ten minutes a day will significantly extend the longevity of our life.
Running is Awesome for Leg Workout
Running is a beautiful workout for toning your calves, thighs, shins, hamstrings, and quads. Within two to four weeks, you will find your legs taking shape. Adjust your treadmill to an uphill setting to tone up the glutes. To see a noticeable change, give it a good three to four weeks.
Running Enhances Focus
When running is a part of your daily activities, you become engaged in it physically and mentally. Mind and body are in sync, which can count as a kind of meditation and therefore improves focus power. How does that help? More mental clarity, self-confidence, the ability to gain insights into everyday life, and making better decisions. The study published in the Journal Translational Psychiatry shows that mediation and exercise can boost a release of endorphins in patients of depression and will reduce the symptoms of depression faster.
Running strengthens the Core Muscles
Along with the lower body, running also engages the core muscles: rectus abdominis(the six-pack muscle), internal obliques(inner sides), external abdominis(outer sides), and transverse abdominis. All of these abdominal muscles are actively engaged and activated with running, says Dr. Karena Wu, owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy. A quicker way to tighten the core muscle is to pull your belly button inside toward the spine without holding your breath while running. Dr. Wu also recommends turning your body on each side as you run.
Running Improves Physical Appearance
When you feel good inside, it is sure to show in your outward appearance as well. Running keeps the blood flowing throughout the body; the side effect is the skin glow that you get. I have personally experienced this. And who doesn’t want glowing skin?
Running builds Stronger Self-image & Confidence
If you are a serious runner, you may already have experienced the high that you get after an intense workout, which is called the “Runner’s high.” There is nothing more rewarding than a healthy self-image and confidence that you seek in your self-care practice.
Running Rewards You with a Better Sleep Quality
With just 15-30 minutes of running every day, you will start sleeping like a baby. To see the real effect, be consistent with your running schedule. The quality of your sleep shall get better with time, and you will fall asleep faster, this will help you adjust the sleep schedule as well.
Precautions to be considered
Do warm-up exercises before running.
Warm-up stretches are essential before you start running. Pre- and post-running stretches are beneficial to avoid the risk of injury. These stretches can be anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes longer.
Moderation is the key.
If you are a beginner or an athlete, moderation is the key. The American Council suggests that 15 to 30 minutes per day will burn up to 150 calories, this is a moderate pace and good for a beginner. You can build upon this as you go. In a 10-minute mile run, a person weighing 140 pounds burns approximately 13.2 calories per minute, that is, 132 calories in 10 minutes. The results may vary depending on the metabolism of each person.
Do not forget to drink fluids that will keep you going. Drink lots of water. Take frequent sips and not a whole lot at a time.
If you are just starting out on running, go slow, and gradually build your stamina. Mix up the sprint and hill sessions to benefit the most from your routine. Be it indoors or outdoors, we can all agree that running is good for our physical and mental health. The more you run, the more quickly your body will get adapted to it. The best part is you don’t need to be a marathon runner, you can start right now!