Why is running such a popular activity worldwide? For a variety of reasons – including its association with countless health benefits. With little to no specialist equipment required, it is one of the most accessible forms of exercise.
Just as long as you stick to it, your running regime could return an array of incredible physical health benefits including:
1. Improved Heart Health
A heart is the most powerful and important muscle in the human body. It also requires regular exercise to remain healthy and operate efficiently. Running prompts the heart to pump more blood to muscles around the body, improving the elasticity of the arteries and reducing fatty deposits from their interior walls. Healthy exercise can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, heart disease and other cardiovascular health problems.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
Running can also have a positive impact on blood pressure. Research has shown that the blood pressure reducing properties of long-distance running has the potential to equal that of a commonly-prescribed medication.
3. Cholesterol Control
Scientific studies have shown that during active exercise such as running, DHL cholesterol (aka ‘good’ cholesterol) levels in the bloodstream increase, while harmful triglyceride levels experience a marked reduction. This in turn helps to lower a heart disease risk in runners.
4. Improved Lung Capacity and Function
Running is dependent on the intake of much higher levels of oxygen, which can result in the lungs being exercised 50% more intensively than during rest. Over time, this can significantly improve both lung capacity and function, assisting with the strong and consistent distribution of oxygen throughout the body.
5. Stronger and Larger Muscles
Muscle strength and general endurance can be improved significantly through an ongoing regime of running. As the muscles are worked, their component fibres are slowly repaired and strengthened to cope with the next round of activity. Over time, the cycle results in the development of noticeably larger and stronger muscles – particularly around the lower half of the body.
6. Stronger Bones
One of the best ways of warding-off osteoporosis and similar conditions is to regularly exercise the body’s bones and joints. Running is known to contribute to the ongoing flexibility, strength and endurance of joints and bones, significantly reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
7. Metabolic and Digestive Efficiency
Running can also have a positive impact on the body’s metabolic and digestive efficiency….from the absorption of key vitamins to weight management.