Running for the Health of It: 5 Reasons People Run Daily And Why You Should, Too

 

Ask any dedicated runner why running is so important to them and they will likely answer “it feels good” or “running keeps me in good condition.” Or, in many cases, running may have become a substitute activity for over-eating or as an alternative for addictions. Some may run just to relieve boredom or make social contacts.

There are a myriad of real and imagined benefits to the running life, but there is no question that the sport continues to be popular. There are more organized races today than ever before and the true avid runners have closets full of souvenir t-shirts to prove it. So why do so many people, all over the world, engage in this seemingly painful activity?


 

1. Running is Cheap.

Yes, it is important to buy decent running shoes that fit properly and provide sufficient support for arches and ankles. Besides that, no other equipment is mandatory. What you wear depends on your own personal flair and the weather. But there are no specific pads, gloves, clubs, caps, racquets, balls or uniform needs. Every city has a list of runner-friendly trails and parks, so there are no entry fees required. You won’t need to reserve a time and you can get ready to go in a matter of minutes.

 2. Eat More Carbs.

A plate of spaghetti, a stack of pancakes, your favorite baguette and other delicious high carbohydrate meals and snacks are the fuel that runners crave. “Carbo-loading” has long been a tradition for runners the night before the big race. The energy produced by carbohydrates is stored by your body to be used as fuel for your next run. Runners maintain their weight nicely, even after pigging out, since this stored energy is burned and not retained as fat. Remember, carbs minus exercise equals fat. Carbs plus exercise equals lean.

 3. Sharpen your Brain.

Running and regular aerobic exercise have been proven to increase memory and keep the mind sharp. The benefits of running even forestall the ravages of dementia later in life. And whether you achieve a sense of accomplishment that goes with sticking with a regular exercise program or the euphoric feeling of attaining a goal that had once seemed impossible, the positive mental attitude that results will impart a new confidence and energy that will prod you to take on even more mentally challenging tasks. You will become more interesting, more energetic and more active as a result of all of the positives you gain from a running program. Also, older runners tend to have better balance and flexibility than the general population.

4. Sex Improves.

After even a few weeks of dedicated training, you will begin to notice the changes in your body. You will feel leaner and more toned, endowed with extra energy and perhaps you will recognize an enhanced libido. This response is very normal and is a result of your new and improved self-image plus stamina and flexibility to perform more actively. And, since sexual activity can involve substantial additional exercise, you might view it as “cross-training” with your dedicated running program. And, after sex, running tends to improve your quality of sleep.

 5. Running Can Free You From Addictions.

Whether you are trying to give up smoking or drinking or addictive drugs, commitment to a well-managed running program can be your best choice for moving on with your life. Running in conjunction with programs designed by Utah drug rehab can provide the complete impetus for eliminating addiction. Imagine a life of feeling good, looking good and being confident in your ability by substituting a healthy running lifestyle for the one you know you should change. Imagine being proud of doing something for yourself that is constructive, as opposed to destructive. Picture how proud loved ones and new friends you meet on the trail may be when you succeed in replacing the bad with the good.


 

Running produces endorphins in the body that can actually give a sense of well-being and euphoria during and after a long run. The term, “runners’ high” has been documented by scientists as an actual phenomenon.

Start by planning your program. Check with your doctor to make sure your body is capable of taking on a running regimen. If so, start slowly with a walk-run sequence that does not overtax your system. Plan incremental increases to increase your run mileage. You may start with alternating days with running and other mild exercises until you build up to more.

There are loads of books, websites and magazines that can help you with developing a running regimen from scratch. Information on everything including shoes, diet, cross-training, mileage build-up and long-term goal setting is abundant.

featured image via www.rei.com

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