Running’s been more popular than ever, and for a reason: it can be fun, liberating and healthy. Yet, many people are not ready to fully commit themselves to jog regularly or simply don’t want to even try because they don’t consider them sporty or athletic enough.
There are many benefits to running and even if you are still unsure whether to start or not, you should know that you can always start slow. You don’t need to exhaust yourself unless and until you’re completely ready to run like a pro. So, for those who wish to start running, here are some benefits that regular jogging sessions can have on your mental and physical health.
1. The cheapest way to lose weight
In case you’re looking to shed a few pounds, then running is the perfect form of exercise since it’s one of the cheapest. There are several ways to run as well, from long-distance endurance to high-intensity sprinting.
You don’t need to pay for an expensive gym membership and the only equipment you need are quality running shoes, a music player and a water bottle (optional). Instead of sweating under fluorescent gym lights in a room full of people, you can spend some time outside, whether it’s a park, a street or a beach. Aside from your own feet and some investment into quality running gear, you don’t need anything else, except your own willpower.
2. Running can improve your joints
There’s a widespread belief that running can be detrimental to one’s joints, but that’s actually a misconception because regular running can be beneficial to your joints. What happens is that during each step of the running, your ligaments and cartilage get stronger which overall improves the state of your hips, knees, and ankles.
In order to prevent accidents such as twisting your ankle or falling on your knee, it’s crucial to wear supportive shoes, preferably brand new, so your feet will be able to get used to them from the start. Also, make sure to run slowly at your own pace so you won’t trip or stumble.
3. It makes you feel better
In case you haven’t heard, there’s something called “the runner’s high”. This is a feeling of euphoria one gets only during or after a run. Running actually produces a surge in serotonin, dopamine and endorphin levels, which can cause you to feel energetic and happy. That can be beneficial to your mental health, especially if you’re struggling with negative emotions.
However, in order to be a successful runner, you need to learn some breathing techniques for running so you won’t be out of breath and tired. The best way to do so is to run leisurely at first, and once you start feeling more confident, you can also speed up your running pace.
4. Jogging can help you with self-discipline
Waking up early in the morning to run isn’t an easy task, especially if you love sleeping. But, morning runs have their unique charm: the weather is usually more favorable and there are fewer people on the streets, so it’s no wonder that many runners indeed prefer jogging in the early hours.
In order to be a morning runner, you need to start getting up earlier, which can also be a great way to practice some self-discipline. Only a dedicated runner will ignore the alluring power of the snooze button and get out of the bed. You can do that, all you need is a strong will and self-motivation. Once you get used to it, you’ll realize that running isn’t only an exercise, but also a form of therapy that can help you transform your life for better.
5. Being a runner can improve your body strength
Aside from being beneficial to your joints, running can also help you better your general body strength. Since it’s a strength-bearing exercise, it means that it stresses the bones, so they get denser. Additionally, running is the main component of so many sports from basketball to cricket, so it’s not a surprise that it can also help you build up your stamina, flexibility, and speed.
Being a regular runner will help you improve your cardiovascular endurance and help you become stronger and more athletic. High intensity running such as interval sprints can build muscle, strength, and power, in different ways than weightlifting and bodybuilding.
So, there are many benefits to running, but if you really want to feel the maximum effects, you should start without big expectations. Just treat running as another physical exercise and try to do it regularly so it’ll become your daily habit. Soon you’ll see all the upsides, and feel better in your own skin.