It’s undeniable. Running is an excellent way to shed excess weight and drop inches from all over your body! With that being said, running has a lot more to offer than just weight loss alone. Below you’ll find 7 added benefits of running that aren’t losing weight.
Many people enjoy running and look forward to their workouts. There are just as many, however, that cringe at the mention of it. All too often, we find ourselves skipping workouts due to this dreadful feeling. Keeping the following benefits in mind may motivate you to get up and go!
If you’ve never been a runner, read How to Start Running. You will learn how to properly prepare for and progress in the sport!
7 Benefits of Running
1. Provides an Endorphin Rush
Endorphins are your body’s natural, pain-killing, feel-good chemicals! The act of running causes your body to release these chemicals into your bloodstream. If you’ve ever experienced a “runner’s high” then you’ve experienced an endorphin rush. Endorphins have the unique ability to increase feelings of happiness, euphoria, and even relieve stress!
2. Improves Heart & Lung Health
This should come as no surprise, but running is excellent for your heart and lung health. Your heart is a muscle, and like any other muscle in the body, it needs to be trained regularly. A consistent running routine will ensure that it’s functioning at its very best.
Running also increases lung capacity, meaning you can take in more air (and oxygen). This allows your lungs to meet the needs of your body during a running workout. The more oxygen that we can take in, the easier it is for our heart to pump. As we get older, lung capacity decreases. Maintaining a running routine will keep you healthy for years to come.
3. Prevents High Blood Pressure
Running causes your arteries to expand and contract as blood is rapidly pumped through them. This process keeps them clean and healthy, helping your body maintain a healthy blood pressure. It’s important to note that the weight loss benefit of running also helps lower blood pressure levels.
4. Increases Bone Density and Joint Health
Studies have shown that a consistent running regimen reduces bone loss associated with aging. Your bones will respond to the stress being placed on them. Essential minerals are sent to the stressed bones to repair them, making them stronger. Runners generally have stronger leg, hip, and back bones.
Running routinely will improve joint strength and mobility, as well. By increasing the strength of your ligaments and tendons, your joints will be able to handle more mileage.
5. Increases Endurance
Long distance running builds our endurance and stamina. Aside from being extremely beneficial to our heart and lung health, increasing stamina also helps us burn more calories. The longer you can run, the more fat you will burn.
Building stamina through running also works on our mental endurance and toughness. During exercise, your mind can often be your biggest enemy. It truly is mind over matter.
6. Prevents Disease
Studies have shown that running is an effective tool in preventing a number of diseases and conditions. Regular cardiovascular exercise reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, high cholesterol, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even depression. This, alone, should be enough to make you want to get out and go for a run.
7. Boosts Confidence
Regular cardiovascular exercise boosts your confidence in more ways than one. Obviously, it’s going to make you look good. You’ll drop excess pounds while you tone your legs, butt, and core. The mental effects of running will also improve your mood and self image, making you feel more confident. When you realize what your body is capable of doing, you’ll feel totally inspired!
Did you know about all of these added benefits of running that aren’t losing weight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Beginning a running routine can do so much for your health beyond weight loss. If you’re interested in starting a running program, try this Running Program for Absolute Beginners or take the 30-Day Beginner’s Running Challenge.