Running is one of the best activities most people can do to improve
their health. Running regularly can help with weight loss, fighting
aging and disease, and with generally staying healthy.
Many people start running in order to win the battle of the bulge.
Whether they are obese or just want to lose that last five pounds,
or even if they just want to stay at the weight they are at, approximately
60% of runners start running to manage their weight. Running is
one of the top activities for burning fat. In fact, with the exception
of cross country skiing, running burns more calories per minute
than any other form of cardiovascular exercise.
Running regularly also has been proven to help fight the aging process.
It prevents muscle and bone loss that often occur with age. Our
bones are made to accommodate the demands placed upon them. By sitting
at a computer all day many of us allow our bones to grow weaker,
but by running regularly our skeleton gets the demand it needs to
stay healthy. In addition to keep our insides from aging quickly,
regular, high-intensity exercise, like running, has also been proven
to promote the human growth hormone, which celebrities have taken
injections of for years to keep them looking young.
Amazingly running also helps to fight disease. Running reduces the
risk of stroke and breast cancer. Regular running has become a treatment
option for doctors to prescribe to patients who are at a high risk,
or early stages, of osteoporosis, diabetes, and hypertension. It
reduces the risk of heart attacks, by strengthening the heart and
lowering blood pressure. Running lowers blood pressure and maintains
the elasticity of arteries incredibly well because as you run your
arteries expand and contract nearly three times as much as usual.
Running also helps maintain and improve general health. It raises
HDL (or "good") cholesterol, reduces the risk of blood
clots, and encourages use of the 50% of your lungs that usually
go unused. Running also boost the immune system by creating a higher
concentration of lymphocytes (white blood cells that attack disease).
As you can see, the health benefits of running are many and varied.
But that alone isn't all that you can reap from running regularly.
There are also many psychological benefits.