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Get fit, get running: 5 ways running improves your health

Running has proven health benefits, reducing the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease amongst other conditions. But running and jogging have so many other positive impacts on your health and wellbeing. Here are 5 of the best reasons to get your running shoes and jogging armbands on and head out for your nearest park run.

Running gets you high

Completely naturally, of course - but 'runner's high', the feeling you get when feel-good endocannabinoids are released, is a pretty incredible sensation. Just 30 minutes of running can significantly improve your mood, making it easier to concentrate and boosting sleep quality.

Running improves bone health

High impact activities like running have a positive effect on bone health. It works like this: when you run, your bones get jarred and that stress forces bones to add mass, or prevent their loss as you age. The more speed you can add to your running, and the more you can pound the ground, the better.

Running keeps you mentally fit

If you're stressed at work or suffering from anxiety, running is the best way to help your mind and body relax. And the release of those endorphins in your brain will contribute to your sense of well-being. Take notice of the sensations you feel when running - the feel of the sun on your skin and the rhythm of your breathing - and running begins to act as a kind of mindfulness, relaxing mind and body and keeping you in the moment.

Running gets you physically fit

If you can lift your everyday running pace to a little above where it feels comfortable and easy and a little below your maximum pace, you'll benefit from the 'afterburn' effect - what scientists call excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC allows you to burn calories even after you've stopped exercising - bonus!

Running adds years to your life

It's a fact - fun runs, half marathons, park runs - in fact, any kind of jogging or running extends your lifespan by at least 3 years, perhaps even more if you're an ex-smoker!

Thanks for reading and hope this has been helpful. We have listed below some essential items for running this winter.

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November 03, 2016 by Rob McCartney