Running is easily the best cardio exercise that one can perform. Apart from the numerous benefits that it has, running is equally good for both – mental health as well as physical health. According to an analysis that was carried out in 2018, runners were found to have a nearly 30% lower rate of all-cause mortality in comparison to non-runners. Running is an all-round workout solution — least expensive yet most effective. You don’t need to be Usain Bolt to start running. You can start from 200 meters or 5 minutes of running a day. Running is the secret to a long and healthy life.
You might have looked at the calves and other leg muscles of athletes including sprinters and footballers. Every part of the muscles on the legs looks perfectly defined. Hence, running not only helps you in gaining strength and cutting extra fat but also gives perfect definition to your muscles. It’s the best way to cultivate a lifestyle centered around fitness.
Here are five key benefits of running
1. Better Sleep: A good sleep is very important for a good body as well as a good mind. Whether you are an athlete or an office person, a good sleep acts as an energy booster before your workday. However, sleep has become the most ignored factor in today’s day and life due to an unorganized lifestyle. If you develop a habit of going for a run regularly, you put your body through extra work, and hence your body will demand proper rest. However, it is important to note that running an hour before going to bed can affect your sleep, and hence, you must go for a run in the morning or at least 3-4 hours before you go to the bed.
2. Helps in losing weight: There are a lot of people who struggle with obesity and being overweight. There is a lot of research-backed data that shows that running is extremely helpful in losing extra weight. Most people think that you need to cut your diets drastically to cut the fat on your body. However, it is only a half-truth. You just need to put your body through an intense workout to burn the calories that you consume. You’ll not only be able to burn your body fat with running but will also help in gaining muscles. 15 minutes of intense running can be easily compared with 45 minutes of moderate workout in a gym. With every passing day, your running time will automatically increase.
3. Boosting Immunity: Fitness experts believe that a healthy body is a combination of proper workout and proper diet. There are ample proofs of regular runners living a long and healthy life. Talking of an example from India, the mother of actor and athlete Milind Soman, Mrs. Usha Soman who is a marathon runner is an inspiration for many at the age of 81. From doing push-ups to running barefoot, Usha Soman is living proof of a lifestyle built around the principles of fitness that can do wonders for you. When you work your muscles regularly, the defence systems in your body get activated. When you go for a run regularly at a fixed timing, your body develops immunity to fight against illnesses and helps you in overcoming physical problems that may seem difficult for non-runners.
4. Improving Mental Health: Pills are not the only way to kill stress and overcome depression. Let’s break it down this way: Why do people play sports? Why do they listen to songs? Are all of them professionals? Not really. The purpose behind all of this is finding happiness and killing stress that occupies your mind due to your work or any other reason. There are many instances when doctors and physiotherapists suggest doing a workout or running to patients struggling due to their mental health. There are certain research-based studies on research that proves that running is one of the best ways to kill stress. It is an alternative yet easier way to overcome stress.
5. Strengthening Your Joints: Legs and back are the biggest part of your body and they are responsible for your body’s balance and overall strength. Runners and footballers are an epitome of physical strength all thanks to the frequent sprinting that they are required to do. Knees, lower back, and spinal cord are the key body parts that many struggles with due to continuous or seasonal pain. Running strengthens your joints and helps you in getting immense power. This is why marathons are organized frequently in the world’s top cities to promote running and make people aware of the benefits of running.