Running is deemed the king of cardio exercises. It is one of the best forms of exercise to maintain optimal health and overall fitness. Feeling tired, anxious, or just a little blue? - Go for a run and feel an instant rush of energy within you. Running for fitness combined with a healthy diet can do wonders for your well-being. It keeps your weight in check, heart-healthy, your lungs in good shape, bones and muscles strong, and your brain sharp. It's also a potent cure for stress and despair, as the hormones released while running put you in a state of happiness instantly.
"Cardio exercises like running are crucially important for our overall health and well-being. A good running workout pumps oxygenated blood throughout the body, improving metabolism and making our hearts and lungs stronger", according to OneFitPlus.
Let's find out why running is the best form of exercise and why it is widely recommended by fitness experts?
Health Benefits of Running for Fitness and Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, running is regarded as the best cardio exercise. The calorie-burning rate is quite high when you run, and the whole process gets even more rewarding if you include interval training in it. Running effectively stimulates your metabolism and burns fat.
Runners also experience the 'after-burn effect', which means that they burn calories even when they stop running. Regular running also plays a role in suppressing the appetite as you are more likely to have fluids or water-rich foods to quench the thirst experienced. However, to lose weight, you must dedicate about 45 minutes to 1 hour every 3-4 times a week to moderate/intense running.
Jogging or Running Improve Cardiovascular Fitness
One of the most prominent health benefits of running is improved heart health. Running is known to boost HDL levels or good cholesterol in the body and helps keep a check on the blood pressure level as well. Running, even at a moderate pace for 10 minutes every day can cut down your risk of heart attack or stroke. Apart from the lungs, your heart and the whole vascular system become more efficient and well-functioning with running. If you want to keep away from the risk of heart disease, consider putting aside a few days every week to run.
Running Builds Muscle Mass and Strengthen Bones
Running, being a weight-bearing exercise, augments your bone density making them stronger. It becomes important to build a strong lower body as you age, reducing your risk for osteoporosis, imbalance, and sudden falls. Long-distance running helps the bones repair themselves, form new bone tissue and bone mass. In addition, running engages the muscles of your core, glutes, and legs, making them stronger and giving you extra stamina and stability. You also tend to gain muscle mass when you run regularly.
Running can Improve your Immune System
Even if you are into moderate yet regular running, your chances of catching an infection would be much lower compared to the person with a sedentary lifestyle. By boosting overall circulation, jogging or running promotes the movement of antibodies and protective cells in our system, increasing our disease-fighting capabilities. The white blood cells in our body circulate faster when we run, thereby detecting viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens faster and stimulating a quick immune response.
Running Uplifts your Mood
When you run, your body releases endorphins called the happy hormones that lower stress and improve your mood. Running is widely recommended as a positive stress-busting technique to combat mental health issues like anxiety and moderate depression. It reduces the level of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body.
The "runners high" you get when you are pacing outdoors or in a gym or indoors on home fitness equipment is at any time a better approach to relieve stress compared to overindulgence in food, alcohol, or smoking.
Running Exercises help you Sleep Better
The importance of sleep in maintaining overall health and fitness is well known. Insufficient nighttime sleep, which means 7 hours or less, can cause gradual but severe damage to your health on several fronts. Running can be the trick to induce better sleep hygiene in your life.
Unless you work out close to your sleeping time, a good running workout can make you sleep more quickly and improve your sleep quality. While exercise elevates your body temperature, the body's thermostat later drops back to usual, inducing drowsiness. Running, being an effective aerobic exercise, tires out your body and lowers stress levels for a restful nighttime sleep.
Running exercises is equally good for your mind and body, keeping both agile, positive, fit, and energetic. You can also reap the numerous physiological and psychological benefits of running by including it in your daily schedule. Even if you run for 20 minutes, your heart, bones, and muscles will get a good workout three times a week. You do not have to become a marathon runner; just run fast enough to elevate your heart rate regularly. Running for fitness can show fantastic results for your overall health.