10 Great Reasons To Get Those Running Shoes On
Running has been considered to cause more harm than good for you as you age. Indeed for several years researchers feared the long-term effect of the then ‘new jogging craze’ would be floods of orthopaedic injuries, with older runners permanently limped by their exercise habit. However, a study by the University of Colorado has shown otherwise.
The PLOS One study conducted by the University of Colorado confirms that regular exercise could actually extend high-quality, disability-free life.
“The bottom line is that running keeps you younger, at least in terms of energy efficiency,” said CU-Boulder Associate Professor Rodger Kram of the Department of Integrative Physiology, a co-author on the study.
The study involved 30 healthy older volunteer adults (15 males and 15 females) with an average age of 69 who either regularly ran or walked for exercise. The volunteers all had been either walking or running at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes per workout for at least six months. Boulder was an ideal place for the study, said Kram, in part because it has been an international running mecca since the 1970s and there are a relatively large number of senior runners.
The researchers added that mitochondria provide energy, which allows people to move longer with less effort. Runners possessed better muscle coordination than their walking counterparts, which means the runners were able to go longer without consuming as much energy. It’s not too late if you haven’t started running yet. Justus Ortega, an associate professor of kinesiology at Humboldt University, who led the study stated: “Quite a few of our volunteers hadn’t taken up running until they were in their 60s.”
Here are just 10 of many compelling benefits from FitandMe you’ll get from running
Benefits of Running
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology says the ideal guidelines for physical activity call for a minimum of 75 minutes per week of running or other vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week; however people who exercised less than that still received significant health benefits. So stick to your routine as long as there is some form of exercise you do.
Running keeps your heart and muscles healthy, it makes your brain stronger, it makes you feel better, and it helps to improve confidence as well.
Benefit #1: It Saves Money
One thing that you are definitely going to like about running is that it is cheap. The bottom line is that all you really need to run is a decent pair of running shoes. Other than that, you don’t really need anything and that is definitely a bonus. Nobody wants to spend a ton of money and running helps you do that.
Benefit #2: You’ll Live Longer
Another thing that you will love about running on a regular basis is that it will help you live longer. There is a recent study which shows that on average runners live quite a bit longer than people who don’t run on a daily basis. This has to do with several factors including increased heart and lung health, better circulation, stronger muscles, and the fact that it helps fight obesity, diabetes, and other conditions that have to do with being overweight. The simple fact of the matter is that running will keep you alive for longer. In fact, it is also shown that running on a daily basis can even help to reduce the risk of developing various types of cancer such as colon cancer and breast cancer.
Benefit #3: Makes Bones Stronger
The next benefit that you are really going to like when it comes to running is that it helps make your bones stronger. This is thanks to the fact that running is a weight bearing exercise. Weight bearing exercises are great for your bones because whenever you put weight on them, especially repeatedly such as when you run, your bones grow stronger.
You see, your bones grow much in the same way as your muscles grow, or in other words, the more you exercise and train them, the more they grow. This is because the stress of a weight bearing exercise such as running forces your bones to produce more bone mass, thus making your bones stronger and thicker.
Benefit #4: Burns Calories
One of the biggest benefits that you can get from running is that it helps you burn a ton of calories and fat. It is shown that 1 hour of running can help you burn as many as 850 calories, that’s pretty much a whole meal! Of course, the number of calories that you burn does depend on how hard you run, but generally speaking, you can burn a whole lot of calories from this simple type of exercise.
Obviously, this can also help you lose weight because if you don’t have enough calories in your body, say if you are on a diet, the energy you need to run will be taken from your body fat reserves, thus helping you lose weight. Another benefit that has to do with weight loss is the fact that high intensity exercise such as quick paced running can also boost your metabolism, meaning that your body is more efficient at converting calories and fat into energy.
Therefore, even when you aren’t running your body will burn more calories and that helps you keep weight off. This also has to do with EPOC, or exercise post oxygen consumption, which in simplest terms means that exercise such as running helps give your metabolism such a boost that you continue to burn increased numbers of calories even hours after you have finished exercising. If you want to find out just how many calories you will burn based on the distance you have run as well as your weight, you can try this free calorie calculator.
Something that you can do to burn even more calories is to engage in interval training, which is where you spend a given amount of time running as fast as you can, and then taking a small break. This type of high intensity exercise increases the number of calories that you burn and helps to boost your metabolism even more. There is actually a study which shows that interval training is much more fun than just regular old running, thus keeping things interesting and helping you stay motivated to exercise day after day.
Benefit #5: Improves Your Self-Esteem
Something else that you are going to like about running, especially from running outdoors is that it will help improve your overall self-esteem. One of the reasons for this is of course because your body will look better after you have been running for a number of weeks. However, the big reason as to why it helps increase your self-esteem is because it is shown that runners who run outdoors, especially in a natural setting, are scientifically shown to be happier and more confident after having been outside.
Benefit #6: Better Skin
One of our favorite benefits that you can get from going on regular runs is that it can actually help give you better, smoother, and clearer skin. This is because running makes you sweat and when you sweat you excrete a number of bacteria, chemicals, and toxins from your pores, thus helping to fight off skin infections, acne, and other not so pleasant skin conditions.
Sweating also helps your pores to produce certain chemicals, one which is specifically important and it’s known as Dermicidin, an antimicrobial peptide that your body naturally produces. Dermicidin helps to kill bacteria and other unwanted microbes which can affect your skin in a negative way.
Benefit #7: Better Memory
The next big benefit that you can reap from running on a regular basis is that it can help to improve your memory and keep your mind sharp, especially in old age. Recent studies show that regular aerobic exercise such as running, due to a number of factors such as increased circulation and the increased production of chemicals in the brain, helps to increase cognitive function, problem-solving skills, and memory too. Another study shows that running on the regular can even help lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as you age, a disease which no one wants. If you want your brain to function better you should definitely start going for runs.
Benefit #8: Increases Your Mood
Something else that you are really going to like about running is that it can go a long way in making you feel happier, improving your mood, and even fighting off the effects of anxiety and depression. When you engage in regular high intensity exercise your brain produces certain neurochemicals, one of the most important ones being serotonin.
When you exercise the production of serotonin shoots through the roof, and that’s a good thing because it’s a feel happy chemical, one which causes a sense of euphoria, elation, and joy, all things which help to increase your mood and lessen the effects of depression and anxiety. If you have never heard of the runner’s high before, just go for a run and you will see what we are talking about. This also helps to reduce stress levels in your everyday life, and of course stress makes it harder to sleep and can cause some other serious health issues too.
Benefit #9: Boosting Your Energy & Your Sleep
Another big benefit that you can get from running on a regular basis is that it helps increase your energy levels. This is due to a combination of reasons including a higher metabolism which helps convert calories into energy as well as because of the mood enhancing effects of exercise.
Getting your heart pumping with a little run helps you feel more energetic throughout the rest of the day, something which everyone can love. It is also shown that running on a regular basis helps you sleep better, partially due to the fact that you tire yourself out, and also because of the anxiety reducing effects of exercise. If you want to be more energized throughout the day and get a solid night’s sleep, running is a prime way to accomplish those goals.
Benefit #10: Improves Cardiovascular Health
The next benefit that you should be happy about when it comes to running on a regular basis is that it is heart healthy. Just like other muscles and bones, your heart needs to be exercised in order to stay healthy and grow stronger. Running is a form of cardiovascular exercise because it increases your heart rate by quite a bit, thus training it to be stronger.
A healthier heart is very important in terms of physical output and being able to exercise for a prolonged period of time. Not to mention that a healthier heart means decreasing your chances of developing heart and arterial disease, it lowers your chances of suffering from a heart attack, and it helps lower blood pressure too.
Here are some general tips by better health for beginners:
*See your doctor for a check-up before you start a running program. This is especially important if you are over 40 years, are overweight, have a chronic illness or haven’t exercised in a long time.
*Pre-exercise screening is used to identify people with medical conditions that may put them at a higher risk of a experiencing a health problem during physical activity. It is a filter or ‘safety net’ to help decide if the potential benefits of exercise outweigh the risks for you. Print a copy of the pre-exercise screening tool and discuss it with your doctor or exercise professional.
*Start with brisk walking. Aim for 30 minutes per session. Allow a minimum of six weeks to build up to regular running. Aim to increase your jogging time each session, and alternate between walking and jogging.
*Make sure you warm up and stretch thoroughly before you head out. Cool your body down with light stretches when you return.
*Make sure you have plenty of fluids and take a water bottle with you on your run. Try to drink plenty of water before, during and after any activity.
*Allow at least two complete rest days per week to avoid over training, which may cause injury. Consider other low impact activities, such as swimming, at least once each week.
*Plan your route. If possible, choose flat, grassy areas rather than hard or loose (such as sandy) surfaces to reduce the risk of injury.
*Avoid running near roads. This is especially important if you have a pre-existing condition such as asthma. Vehicle exhaust fumes can increase your risk of various cardiovascular and respiratory complaints or illnesses.
*Avoid the ‘peak hour’ periods to reduce your risk of inhaling air pollution from motor vehicles. If possible, schedule your runs for either the early morning or the evening.
*Wear loose cotton clothing. Dress your upper body in layers of clothing so that you can take off layers as required.
*Apply SPF 30+ sunscreen to exposed skin areas.
*Buy an appropriate pair of running shoes