Most dedicated runners know that running benefits far outweigh the discomfort of pounding the pavement mile after mile. For some, running may seem tedious, especially when done over long distances, but there are obvious benefits to making a habit out of running. If you’re still not convinced, perhaps the first-hand accounts of Personal Trainer, Jolene Cherry, as well as the latest research surrounding the benefits of running will convince you that there are more reasons to run than there are not to.
Here are 5 running benefits
1. It Burns Fat
It may seem obvious that running stimulates fat burn. Still, you might be surprised to learn that it is one of the most effective exercises for fat loss, especially when you run high-intensity intervals, which are common in running training plans.
A 2018 report in the journal Sports Medicine reviewed the results of 39 studies. It concluded that high-intensity interval training results in significant total fat and abdominal fat loss, and running intervals are more useful for fat burn than cycling intervals are.
When training for a race, Jolene Cherry recommends that runners engage in interval training, which might involve alternating bouts of sprinting or running at a fast tempo for three minutes, with two-minute periods of light jogging for recovery.
2. Reduce Your Risk of Health Problems
With enough training, especially if it’s at a brisk pace, you can reduce your risk of various preventable health conditions with running. In fact, a study in a 2008 edition of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that men who regularly ran faster than a pace of 7 minutes per mile were less likely to require medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Women who regularly ran faster than 8 minutes per mile were also less likely to need these medications. Getting into top running shape seems to ward off diseases.
3. Life Expectancy is Longer Among Runners
Beyond preventing disease, one of the running benefits for adults, is increase in life expectancy and higher quality of living.
A 2008 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine followed runners and non-runners for 21 years and found that the runners were less likely to die during the study. They also experienced less disability as they aged, showing that running can help you to maintain your vigor.
4. You’ll Gain Less Weight as You Age
In addition to improving quality of life as you age, running can stall age-related weight gain. In a 2005 study in Obesity Research, scientists found that women who ran about 19 miles per week gained the least amount of weight over time.
Furthermore, running about 24 miles per week was associated with a smaller waist size. Incorporating running into your life can help you to stay slim as you get older.
5. Improve Your Mental Health
Vigorous exercise, such as running, is associated with better mental health. A 2014 study in Physiology & Behavior found that young adults who completed the recommended amount of vigorous physical activity experienced less stress and depression, and they enjoyed better sleep.
The strenuous activity was also found to be more beneficial for mental health than moderate-intensity exercise was. Running may be intense, but exercising at such a vigorous level can promote mental wellness.
Even though running may seem too strenuous to be enjoyable, it provides undeniable benefits, ranging from improved mental health to a longer life and a slimmer waist. In addition to these proven benefits of running, becoming a runner allows you to enjoy a community of people who are passionate about the activity.
It provides you with social interaction and a sense of belonging. Taken together, the benefits of distance running surely outweigh the drawbacks.
About Jolene Cherry: Jolene Cherry is the go-to yoga instructor and personal trainer in Portland, Oregon, for those looking to reach physical fitness and harmony in life. Combining her passion for travel, physical fitness, and meditation, she studied with renowned yoga instructors in Thailand as well as Hawaii. Jolene also offers guidance for healthy nutrition to strike a perfect balance in your life.