It’s no secret that running is healthy. In fact, studies have shown that exercise can extend your life by several years! Whether you run for pleasure, to deal with stressful situations or for the health benefits, you might be wondering: what exactly are the benefits of running?
- Stimulates bone formation
When we run the stress on our bones increases through repetitive loading. If training is planned properly to avoid overload, the bones will adapt to this stress and get stronger. A good running technique, as well as proper recovery, is crucial. As you age, adapting to this stress helps prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.
- Strengthens your heart muscles
The physical demands of running on your whole body increase your heart rate. The heart has to pump stronger and faster to keep up with the intensity of the activity. Having a “fitter”, stronger heart leads to less cardiac strain both when you’re resting and when you’re active. A strong heart also improves your blood circulation and lowers your risk of high blood pressure.
- Boosts your energy and
It’s not uncommon to feel energized and more alert right after a run. However, the biggest benefits lie in the long term effects. You will notice that better circulation and improved lung capacity make you fitter for everyday tasks as well! While everyone burns fat differently (based on many factors), running can be a really great way to stimulate fat burn. High-intensity and low-intensity running have their own benefits for fat loss.
4. Lowers your cholesterol levels
There are two kinds of cholesterol carriers in the body usually referred to as the “good” (HDL) and the “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. Research shows that moderate-intensity running activities are effective in increasing the “good” cholesterol, which, in turn, reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery disease. To directly reduce the level of “bad” LDL cholesterol, it’s necessary to choose exercise with a higher intensity.
5. Lowers your blood sugar
A lot of energy is needed to support the work of muscles during running. The sugar (glucose) in your blood is used to fuel the activity. As a result, running lowers your blood sugar level. Studies show regular running can increase your insulin sensitivity and help prevent diabetes. Why? When you are more insulin-sensitive your metabolism is better at keeping your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.