May 27, 2022
Why run? 5 benefits of running
Whatever your motivation might be, running is good for you. Here are five reasons to go for a run or, if you’ve never done it before, to start running!
1 - It’s fun
Going for a run is all about having fun in a variety of ways including enjoying nature, clearing your head and also getting some physical fitness and achieving your goals.
Following a hectic day, going for a run is a great way to end the day in an enjoyable way even though it’s probably going to be difficult to make it happen. Many people start running because they feel like it’s necessary and after a while they find they can’t live without it.
2 - It’s healthy
Running is good for you.
Studies show that sport, and therefore running, is good for your health. Regular physical activity helps maintain the musculoskeletal system (muscles and bones) and reduces the risk of diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension and even cardio-vascular problems. So it’s easy to say that playing sports is a great way to stay healthy.
Generally speaking, the World Health Organization recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes (or 2 hours, 30 minutes) of sustained, high-intensity endurance activity per week. Running is clearly this kind of sport. But don’t worry if you can’t commit to long sessions because even in small quantities (like less than 30 minutes per day) regular sporting activity like running can help you stay healthy.
The benefits can be distinguished according to three aspects:
In a major study of 232,149 participants published on November 4, 2019 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Z. Pedisic, N. Shrestha, Kovalchik Set), those who ran regularly showed a 30% reduction in the risk of death from cardiovascular causes, even those who ran for less than 50 minutes per week.
Running activates and strengthens the cardiovascular system. The more you run, the more significant the benefits.
Remember to get a medical checkup on a regular basis to find out if there is anything that might make participating in any kind of sports unhealthy for you. If you run (or play any other sports) at a high intensity and high cardio level, it is also strongly advised to see a doctor regularly.
Musculoskeletal benefits (bones, muscles, joints…)
“Our bodies can be damaged if they’re not stressed enough, or on the other hand, stressed too much. It is the same with running. We must then find the right balance between quantity and intensity to keep from getting hurt. As in other sports, your body learns to adapt itself to running. When you start, it is essential to follow a progressive training plan to keep from doing too much too early. To help your body adapt, prioritize consistency over quantity when you plan your sessions.
When this balance is respected, running strengthens muscles and joints and even reduces the risk of developing certain illnesses. By using the bones with each stride, running strengthens the skeleton and also prevents the appearance of various ailments such as osteoporosis.”
- Dr. Pascal Edouard, specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Running is not always easy. In running, you can be confronted with successes as well as failures. Overcoming challenges in both racing as well as in training, and achieving your goals, brings a satisfaction that builds your self-esteem.
When you run, you focus on how your body feels and forget everything else. This allows you to take your mind off things and lower your stress level. For some, running is even a form of meditation.
After a good run, you’re usually filled with positive energy and generally have a better ability to concentrate. It’s the perfect way to start your day.
3 – Lose weight
Like any physical exercise, a regular and dedicated running program increases energy expenditure. Combined with a healthy and balanced diet, running can therefore, in some cases, help you lose weight.
Even if your main goal is to lose weight, the benefits go much further including an improvement in your general health as mentioned above.
4 - Running is easily accessible
Running is not an expensive sport. You don’t need a lot of gear and it doesn’t take long to get ready to go for a run, which is really practical if you run on a regular basis.
The only thing that is essential is a pair of shoes that are designed specifically for running. There are some accessories that can help you in terms of both comfort and performance but they’re not essential.
5 - Be part of a community
While running is an individual sport and many runners prefer a certain solitude when they run, running with friends, as a part of a club, or in a race can provide additional motivation and add to your well-being.
Belonging to a community is motivating and provides confidence. Running in a group is a good way to meet new people and to strengthen friendships.
The community aspect of running is readily apparent in races from 10kms to marathons. Indeed, what could be better than sharing a common passion with other runners?
There are so many benefits from running that it’s impossible to state them all. Studies clearly show that there is an overall improvement in the quality of life thanks to running, so it’s up to each of us to find our own reasons to run that are in line with our own personalities and objectives.