Sunday, June 21, 2009

Need a Reason for Why You Should Start or Keep on Running? Here's 10!

On the fence about starting a running program? Or, are you already a runner and need a little reassurance that what you're doing is really worth it? Then check out the following 10 health factoids about the physiological benefits of your running.

1. Your Weight—The more calories you eat without burning them off, the more of them that will be stored as fat. Running is one of the best ways to burn those extra calories.

2. Your Metabolic Rate—Your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) is the amount of calories you burn when you're not being active. One essential key in weight loss is to up your RMR. Running has been shown to be one of the best way to boost your RMR

3. Your Bones—Weight-bearing activities (including running) are great ways to increase or maintain bone density. This is very important as you get older as well as for women who tend to be more prone to osteoporosis.

4. Your Heart—Your heart is a muscle and needs to be worked out just like your other muscles. Problem is, the only way to work out the old ticker is through aerobic exercise. Running is a great way to do this. Also, by running you can lower your resting heart rate (RHR). A lower RHR means your heart isn't having to work as hard to pump the blood. Research shows that just running 5-10 miles a week can decrease your change of having a heart attach by 20%!

5. Your Blood Pressure—The amount of pressure put on the arterial walls with each heart beat is blood pressure. The higher the pressure, the higher your chances are for heart disease. Being overweight and stress are two main causes of high blood pressure. Running is a great way to keep obesity and stress less of a factor in your life.

6. Your Cholesterol—Your body has good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). Your body needs both kinds to function, but when you get an over abundance of LDL cholesterol it can "clog" or harden your arteries slowing or even stopping the flow of blood. HDL cholesterol is "good" because it helps to clear the LDL cholesterol from the arteries. Research shows that running as well as other vigorous exercise helps increase your HDL levels and reduce your LDL levels.

7. Your Aging Process—Running can help prevent muscle and bone loss. Ever hear the expression, "If you don't use it, you lose it?" Will that's very true when it comes to bone and muscle mass. Running is great for keeping your bones and muscles strong and healthy. Running has also been shown to promote the human growth hormone which is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. This hormone stimulates growth and cell production in human beings.

8. Your Decreased Change of Disease—Running can reduce your risk of stroke, breast cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, and heart attack. New research also shows that running can delay the onset of dementia.

9. Your Coordination—Running takes you on all types of surfaces that are flat and uneven, especially if you run trails. A runner has to learn how to gain control over his/her body to keep from stumbling and falling. This improved coordination helps prevent falls when not running. This becomes of particular importance as you get older.

10. Your Sanity—Running not only provides the many aforementioned physical benefits, it also provides you with a mental escape, time to think, or not to think, time to enjoy the outdoors and time to be with friends.

No excuses now. Get out there and run!

13 comments:

Jo Lynn said...

I'm glad you put this out here today BECAUSE yesterday, on mile 30 of my 50K race, I declared, "I don't care if I never run a single mile again!!" LOL

Jen said...

So true! It always nice to have a little reminder of many benefits of running! :)

RunnerDude said...

Hey Jo Lynn! 50K? You rock! You definitely don't need me to come train you. Awesome!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Jen! Yep, most people think of the cardio benefits, but's in addition to those, there's a whole lot more that outweigh the sore feet and tired muscles.

DNLeeper said...

Absolutely correct.. Very good article there Running Dude. No magic pill necessary - just go run!

HEATHER said...

I'm sharing this post with ALL of my non runner friends. Thanks!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Mr. Leeper! Thanks for the feedback! Get the rest of that lawn mowed?

RunnerDude said...

Thanks Heather! And they'll thank you too!

Jessica Lane said...

All of those are very motivating reasons! I mainly run for my sanity. I like zoning out and being outdoors to clear my head. Now, I have to convince my boyfriend that running is fun AND beneficial. Haha.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Jessica! Thanks for the feedback! Tell your boyfriend that RunnerDude said to get out and run with his lady. (Probably doesn't want you to show him up. LOL!)

chris mcpeake said...

I think its too late for my sanity

Tanya said...

Great list! Here's one more to add-social connection. I've made some good friendships at races and through the internet because of a shared love of running; and having a close social network helps keep us happy and healthy!

Running Through Life said...

Sometimes it's nice to have a little reminder. Thanks!