Image Credit: Simon Carr, Creative Commons
There are many occasions in everyday life when we chose to run instead of walk. For most of us, it’s usually when we’re late for something – a meeting, a bus, or a plane. If we get caught in the rain without an umbrella, we will run for cover. People who jaywalk might run or jog across the street. Running is what we do when we need to get somewhere quickly, and our feet are the only transportation mode that’s convenient or available. Some people, however, do it even if they don’t have to. Some people actually love running and jogging, and according to an incredible amount of studies, we should all love it.
Running is an activity that provides people with an outstanding number of health benefits. The most obvious would be that running is one of the most efficient ways to lose weight. All of that fat burning happens because running is an aerobic exercise, which means that it produces energy from glucose or fat in the presence of air. The other type of workout is anaerobic, which means the energy is not produced in the presence of air, and it is what happens when training at high intensity. Even though anaerobic exercise is more efficient in spending calories, the intensity required for it means that it shouldn’t be done every day, as opposed to aerobic exercise, which is less intensive and can be performed every day.
But losing fat is hardly the most important benefit of running. It has been long thought that running affects your knees in a bad way, that it causes damage to them. However, it turned out that running actually strengthens the knees, and increases bone density. The whole cardiovascular system gets stronger from running, and so do the lungs. Running prevents high blood pressure, and it has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer. It will actually help you live longer, even if you’re a smoker (actually, especially if you’re a smoker), or if you survived cancer.
Running is beneficial for mental health and cognitive function as well. Any exercise you can perform regularly will make you feel happier, and there’s no better exercise to take up for a regular workout than running. You don’t even have to run every day – just 30 minutes of running, three times a week will improve your mood, ward off anxiety and depression, and improve the quality of your sleep. Does it mean that running is a cure for clinical depression? No. But it does mean that people who find themselves feeling blue or stressed out or anxious all of the time might try running as a way to help themselves.
By improving metabolism and helping get all the good nutrients where they’re needed in the body at the time they’re needed, running can also improve brain functions like learning and memory. This is very important because, as we age, our mental faculties tend to work slower, and staying fit into an older age will reduce the rate of age-related mental decline. So why should we all start appreciating running more, if not downright loving it? Because it’s good for us in more way then one, and because it’s an easy exercise to do in an age when things that are harmful for us are more readily accessible to us than things that are not. So why not get a pair of Adamant running shoes, and do something good for yourself?