7 min read

Just keep running!

Just keep running!

Just keep running

There are so many health benefits of running! I began running roughly two years ago, and have slowly worked my way up to running a couple of half marathons now.
After a short hiatus (of a month) I am now running again, and automatically I am feeling the benefits of both the rest period and of running again.
Running has both mental and physical health benefits: and below I'll rattle off a list for you.

Weight Loss

People with extra fat storage on their body are among the largest advocates of running. As running assists in shedding extra weight by burning fat and calories. Thus, a slim trim physique is easily gained with the help of running. You see results more quickly if your goal is weight loss, but to have sustained loss just remember to also lift weights.

Delayed Aging

Running is helpful in postponing the effects of aging on the human body. Running has also shown to be good for reducing the pace of aging, which keeps the individual both physically young, and keeping them mentally alert as well. Running is also responsible for the nourishing the skin and adding a healthy glow. Sweat is a good thing, its more than just 'Fat crying'.

Healthy Muscles and Bones

Running aids in the reduction of muscular and structural loss from the bones, which is a common problem that happens for a number of reasons. Bone density decrease is a common problem for people as they age. Muscle too degrades. Running assists in the maintenance of decreasing the rates of these losses, as the cardio provides the blood to the organs that is required, and the weight bearing as you stride assists in the strengthening of both muscles and bones.

Improved Growth of little beings

Children and teens are often advised by doctors to actively participate in sports, including jogging or running. This is because running has been shown to play an important role in enhancing the level of growth hormones, thus helping in the growth of the individual.

Healthy Heart

Running is a useful practice for keeping the muscular system and mental level at their highest efficiency, so it is considered as a great tool against diseases like strokes and heart attacks, which may damage the brain and heart. Running maintains the health and cleanliness of blood vessels, which carry blood to and from the brain, thereby fighting against strokes. And is most likely the contributing factor as to why the Heart Foundation, along with #everydayheros runs the #MyMarathonAU during the month of October.

Diabetes Management

A run helps in maintaining a balanced amount of both carbohydrates and sugar in the blood. This means that running can prevent terrible diseases like diabetes from developing. A good run burns the surplus amounts of sugar present in the blood, keeping the blood clean and better able to help you lead a healthy life.

Lowered Hypertension

Hypertension, or what is popularly known as high blood pressure, is reduced to a lower level by following a routine of running. A run helps to maintain a number of factors that are responsible for high blood pressure. It maintains the blood pressure and keeps away the risk of various heart diseases, including atherosclerosis.

Balanced Cholesterol Level

It is a good exercise for controlling the level of cholesterol in the human body. Thus, it is known to control a number of cardiac disorders and maintain the normal functioning of the human heart.

Improved Blood Clotting

Running helps improve the process of blood clotting, which provides protection against a number of injuries. The process of quickly healing wounds is fueled by running in an effective way.

Boosted Immune System

Running is also well known for strengthening the immune system, thus making the body capable of fighting against a number of serious diseases and infections. Regular runners are popularly believed to possess stronger immune systems compared to others that run less regularly. I personally cannot remember the last time I was sick.

Stress & Mood Improvement

It is not only a physical exercise. It also plays an important role in building good mental health. A person suffering from things like stress, depression, and mood disorders are often advised to follow a regular routine to enjoy the beneficial mental boost of running. Get those endorphins pumping.

Decreases symptoms of depression

Multiple studies have concluded that regular aerobic exercise—and primarily jogging or brisk walking— reduces the symptoms of clinical depression. Strikingly, in one study, running was found to be as effective as an intervention for depression as psychotherapy. When study participants were assigned to one of three groups—a running group, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) group, and a group that received both interventions—all three of the groups experienced a similarly significant decline in depressive symptoms, with little difference in outcome between the running and CBT groups. If you want even better results try for a combination of CBT and regular exercise.

Improves your learning abilities

Both high-intensity running, in the form of anaerobic sprints, and low-impact aerobic running can improve your capacity to learn and retain new information and vocabulary, according to findings in 2007, in the journal of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. These benefits seemed to be more pronounced in the case of high-intensity running. However, both forms of running boosted levels of the protein BDNF (or brain-derived neurotrophic factor), and the neurotransmitter catecholamine, which are heavily associated with the brain’s cognitive (and learning) functions. So get moving, and.... get reading!!

Sharpens your memory

The mental health benefits of running also include a sharper memory. When researchers in Brazil subjected sedentary, elderly rats to just five minutes of treadmill running several times a week over the course of only five weeks, the memory center in the rats’ brains reportedly experienced a surge in production of BDNF, which led to results on rodent memory tests that were akin to those for younger rats. Even treadmill running is good, although in a humid mine-site camp gym maybe not such a good idea.

Protects the brain from aging

Running is a buffer against the effects of aging on the brain, according to research in Time magazine. Scientists set out to learn which was better for the aging brain, physical exercise or brain games. They found that physical exercise (in the form of running and other aerobic activities) won the day, on the basis of brain scans showing a lower rate of brain shrinkage and cognitive decline in elderly test subjects who were physically active.

Alleviates anxiety

Running and other vigorous forms of exercise can reduce anxiety symptoms and help you relax, according to studies cited by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. In some studies, in fact, running may work as well as medication to relieve anxiety. Just breath and keep on moving those feet.

Helps you sleep better

There are evidenced benefits to sleep, summed up in an article in Psychology Today, including regulation of circadian rhythms, heightened daytime alertness, quicker onset of sleep, deeper sleep, and the reduction of symptoms in those with insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea.

Boosts self-esteem

Running is linked with greater self-esteem—or so went the findings of a study of adolescent girls who were asked to run laps between markers and evaluated according to a tool known as the “Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER).” Those who achieved higher PACER scores, by running more laps at a faster pace, reportedly exhibited higher levels of self-esteem, in addition to better physical fitness. In other findings, overweight kids who participated in vigorous aerobic exercise like running experienced a lift in self-esteem levels.

Increases your creativity

Intriguingly, running increased the creative thinking scores of participants in a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. That finding apparently joins others that evidence a link between running and higher levels of creativity, as a 2016 article in Business Insider reported.

Helps the brain heal from substance abuse

This holds true even when the drug in question is as potent a substance as meth, according to 2012 findings in the journal, Synapse. Meth decreases the brain’s production of dopamine and serotonin and burns out their receptors. Running, on the other hand, helps to re-normalize the function of these two key “feel good” neurotransmitters, and boosts their production.

SO ultimately, there is only so much that I can provide as evidence for the benefits of running. But, as a runner, there are very few other things in this world that can take me to the places that running does, or make me feel like I do when I am running. I find peace when I am running, I collect my thoughts, I find energy and motivation to do all the things I want to do, I come up with my greatest ideas and have time to work through my toughest problems. Running has transformed me, my body and my mind

I implore you to get moving, and don't stop. You wont regret it!

On the 28th of October 2018, I will be running my first non-stop 42km (yes... a marathon) to raise money for the Heart Foundation. I have a family history of hypertension and heart attacks, and to run a marathon is one of my 30 before 30 bucket list items - so why the hell not?!

The more people that know about Heart Foundation, the greater their impact, so please also spread the word by sharing my page with your friends and family. Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot! https://mymarathon2018.everydayhero.com/au/sarah-dyer