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What Are The Benefits Of Running
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What Are the Benefits Of Running

Why should I run?

Besides the obvious answer to the question "what are the benefits to running", I doubt their have been any studies to document the health benefits of sitting on the couch all day. There are several reasons to run both of personal opinion and that are substantiated with facts. The benefits of running, or exercise in general, to both physical and mental health are out there for you to gain with just a few short minutes a day.

DEF: Running = moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk such that at any moment one or both feet may be off the ground.

We’re not talking about an all our sprint just something faster than walking.

What are the benefits of running, Physical

As stated on Medicinenet, The American College of Sports Medicine states that “many significant health benefits are achieved by going from a sedentary state to a minimal level of physical activity…” These benefits include an increase in HDL cholesterol, the good fat, and the decrease overall body fat.

Just as a side note, cholesterol is something that your body needs to function it actually makes it itself and is used by everything from your brain to your muscles. So to low cholesterol is just as bad as to high.

It also lowers triglycerides, and the risk of coronary heart disease. If left unchecked coronary heart disease leads to blockage of arteries and heart attacks. In addition to reduction in high blood pressure runners also see a reduction in the use of medications to lower blood pressure and plasma cholesterol levels.

Running also increases cardiorespiratory fitness, or the ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to carry oxygen to muscles giving you energy instead of deriving that energy from sugars.

Running also promotes sweating, a bodies natural response to release heat. Sweating can rid the body of harmful substances like alcohol, cholesterol and salt, as well toxins such as lead and mercury faster than kidney processing alone. There is research to suggest that as much as 30% of the body’s waste is secreted through sweat.

What are the benefits of running, Mental

While most of this category is much more subjective, people’s opinions, some of them just make sense. With the loss of body fat comes a thinner self image. With a thinner appearance can come increased confidence in one’s self. This can impact all aspects of our lives. Also, because all of us don’t have our dream job, stress is always a part of our daily lives. Some runners say that the act of running itself calms the mind and relieves stress. I personally feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish running that lets me relax in knowing that I have done something good for myself.

How much should I run?

In my searches I have found many arguments for the amount of running necessary to maintain good health. The most reoccurring seems to be 3 to 5 times a week. The duration of each work out really depends on the type of workout you do. Researchers at Australia's University of New South Wales found that intervals burn three times as much fat as running twice as long at a moderately hard, steady pace. Intervals are the combining of low intensity and high intensity running in one routine. For example, in a single workout alternate between 40% of your full speed for 60 seconds with 75% of full speed pace for 60 seconds.

All in all the benefits of running can be seen throughout your entire life. Running is a sport that gets you outside with minimal equipment required.

There are hundreds of different reasons to start running and I think I have shed a little light on the question "What are the benefits of running?" For those of you who are willing to share your stories I would love to here from you. If you have any information to add that would be welcome as well.


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