Running is one of the best aerobic activities you can do, and its mental and physical health benefits are well-documented. The CDC recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week to get the optimum benefitâ€” going for a run, especially on a bright sunny day, will benefit your body in a variety of ways.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Running is aerobic by nature, and any aerobic workout will benefit your heart. Running causes your heart to pump harder, which strengthens it over time, improving its stroke volume and function, as well as lowering your resting pulse rate.
Weight Loss and Management
Running on a regular basis can help you lose weight and keep it off. Thirty minutes on the track has the potential to burn 400 calories or more; the more you run, the more calories you will burn and the more weight you will lose.
When you work your muscles, their mass and strength increases. Stronger muscles help you do everyday activities, and prevent age-related loss of muscle mass. Bigger muscles also mean a higher BMR (basal metabolic rate), so you burn more calories, even when you’re resting.
After the age of thirty, bone density tends to decline (in both men and women). Any exercise considered “weight-bearing”â€” such as runningâ€” will help in the reversal and prevention of bone loss, and it can possibly prevent osteoporosis, according to Harvard’s School of Public Health.
Going for a fun run on a regular basis helps keep stress, depression and other mood-related disorders at bay, and it can reduce anxiety by up to 20%.
Prevention of Disease and Increased Longevity
Regular running can reduce your risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease. It helps to raise your body’s level of “good” cholesterol, it lowers your blood pressure, and boosts your immune system. Running can also increase your overall life expectancy; according to the CDC, people who work out about 7 hours weekly have a 40% lower chance of dying early.
More Vitamin D
If you run outside in the sunshine, your body’s production of vitamin D will increase, meaning healthier bones and teeth, as well as increased immunity to illness.
Running will make you feel great by boosting your self-confidence and self-esteem. There are many reasons why people start running; to lose weight, to train for a 5k run, or just to be healthier. No matter why you start, you’ll soon realize the physical, mental and emotional benefits, and you won’t want to stop.