Do you want to be more physically active to improve your strength, endurance, and stamina? Are you looking to lose weight to not only look and feel better about yourself but to also lower your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and other health problems?
Just like diet, regular exercise is key to a long and healthy life. It offers plenty of health benefits that should allow you to enjoy various things in life for many years. If you are used to a sedentary lifestyle and are wondering what the best exercise to try as a beginner, you should look into running.
According to several research studies, running is one of the best exercises to boost one’s health. It can be done at a park, around your neighborhood, or any open field, without the need for any special kind of workout equipment, or on a treadmill at a gym or at home.
Below are some of the many health benefits that you can get from running:
Running can help lower high blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure or hypertension, the force of the blood that pushes on your artery walls is too high, putting you at great risk of the following health complications and problems:
This happens when the blood flow to the heart is interrupted or blocked by cholesterol or fat buildup. Its most common symptoms are pain or tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, sudden lightheadedness, cold sweat, nausea, and abdominal pain.
This occurs when the blood flow to your brain is reduced or disrupted, leaving your brain tissue starving for nutrients and oxygen. If this lasts for even just a couple of minutes, it can kill your brain cells and bring about serious complications, such as paralysis on one side of the body or certain muscle groups, memory loss, and difficulty eating, swallowing, or talking.
This is characterized as a bulge in a blood vessel in your brain. If the bulge ruptures or leaks, it can lead to bleeding or hemorrhagic stroke, which is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical care. Some warning signs to watch out for are extreme headaches, vomiting, blurred vision, nausea, seizure, stiff neck, and light sensitivity.
But, with running, you can work your heart hard and improve blood circulation and flow in your body, as well as reduce your blood pressure by as much as 11/5 mmHg.
Running can help you lose weight
Health and fitness experts say that 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week is great for weight loss and weight management. If you decide to start running, you can burn a lot of calories per session that should help get you closer to your fitness goals faster.
In general, running can burn about 100 calories per mile. However, the exact number of calories you burn when running is dependent on certain factors, such as:
Let us say person A weighs more than person B. If the two of them run at the same speed for the same amount of time, person A (who weighs more) will burn more calories than person B (who weighs less).
Let us say person C and person D have the same weight. If person C runs at a pace of 5 miles per hour for 30 minutes, and person D runs at a pace of 6 miles per hour for also 30 minutes, person D will burn more calories.
Running incline or surface
Let us say person E and person F have the same weight and are running at the same pace. However, person E is running up a hill while person F is running on a flat, concrete road. After a particular span of time, person E will burn more calories than person F.
Running can boost your immune function
Higher physical activity has been found to effectively ward off respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold, and other health problems.
According to one study, running at a light or moderate pace a few times a week can strengthen the protective cells of the immune system that attack and annihilate harmful and dangerous viruses, bacteria, and other threats. There was another study that found that running enhances the immune system’s response against cancer cells, lowering the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.
So, if you do not want to deal with illnesses and diseases that can disrupt your day-to-day routines and drag the quality of your life down, you should strive to run at least three times a week.
Running can improve your mental health
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, or some other mental health issues, or are always feeling stressed, you should get into a regular exercise routine. During an exercise, the blood and oxygen flow your brain are enhanced and your body releases hormones that can make you feel happy and more relaxed.
In one study, it was found that an increase in physical activity raises the number of endorphins or “feel good” chemicals produced by the brain, which results in euphoria, happiness, and other positive feelings. In another study, it was found that exercise facilitates the production of norepinephrine and other neurohormones, which have the ability to boost mood and cognitive function, lowering stress and tension levels.
Running promotes sleep
A lack of sleep is bad for your health. If you do not get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, you will wake up feeling all exhausted and groggy in the morning. You will have a tough time focusing on tasks at work or in school, and just be slow and inefficient throughout the day.
To get enough sleep, you should try running. Running can help regulate your body’s internal clock, which promotes sleepiness when it is time to go to bed and gives you energy and alertness during the daytime.