Even half an hour of running can transform your mind, body, and soul. No wonder running is a sport enjoyed by all groups across the world. According to a cardiologist with the University of Miami Health System. “It lowers blood pressure, lower heart rate, improves metabolism, delays diabetes, promotes weight loss, and prolongs life. If you could take all the benefits of running and put them in a pill, it’d be a best seller.” This perfectly sums up what running can do for you. However, the health benefits of running are often underestimated. So, to help you appreciate this incredible sport a bit more, we bring you some science-backed health benefits of running.
Better heart health
A 2014 study has shown that looked at data from over 55,000 adults over a period of 15 years showed that runners had a 30% lower risk of death compared to non-runners. Moreover, runners were 45% less likely to die from heart-related diseases such as heart attack or stroke. It was observed that runners lived an average of three years longer than non-runners. Another important observation was that all kinds of running, regardless of the speed and duration, helped. Even those who ran just 5-10 minutes per day and slow speeds <6 mph were at lower risk compared to those who did not run at all. Having said that, it is also recommended that if you have existing heart conditions such as arrhythmia and palpitations, you should have a word with your doctor before you start long-distance running.
Running is an amazing aerobic exercise, which means, it increases your respiration rate and heart rate. It can strengthen your lungs and improve your respiratory health. When you start running you often find yourself out of breath. However, with time, your lungs learn how to deliver more oxygen to the bloodstream quickly and it also becomes more efficient and removes carbon dioxide from the body. When you run the endurance capacity of your respiratory muscles such as the intercostal muscles and the diaphragm improves significantly. You are able to breathe more efficiently when you run.
Improved markers of health
It has been shown that regular running can improve blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and resting heart rate, and lower triglycerides, and cholesterol. It also helps reduce body fat percentage. A study involving 19,000 adults over a period of six years has shown that those who ran regularly had a 72% lower risk of developing diabetes compared to those who didn’t. Running has also been shown to help reduce the risk of 26 types of cancers, regardless of the other risk factors.
Better knee and back health
A study involving 675 marathon runners revealed that they had a lower rate of arthritis compared to others. Running positively affected the knees and backs of the runners.
Boosts mood and relieves stress
The benefits of running go beyond physical fitness. It also improves your mental and emotional health. A study has shown that even 10 minutes of physical activity a week can increase your levels of happiness. No wonder taking part in a running challenge is often rewarding and leaves you feeling much happier. Research also suggests that regular exercise such as running can help you manage your stress levels better. It can protect you from the negative effects of stress.
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