Reasons to Run
Getting started and keeping going !!!
(5 mins read – grab some mulled wine and a mince pie)
So with Christmas and the New Year approaching it is the traditional time of year that people reflect and make change. But we don’t have to wait for New Year to promise that 2020 is the year of ‘New Year, New Me’ !!! Even more important once establishing the HABIT of exercise is maintaining the HABIT of exercise. Consistency is King !!
So in this article I’ll outline some great reasons which are all evidence based which help you to understand the health and wellness benefits of running. Something you might need when you are putting in those runs in the cold winter weather whilst convincing yourself you are crazy for running!!1. Health – your mortality risk (risk of death) is significantly reduced – regular running is the single most effective way to reduce your risk of a whole host of illnesses such as stroke, heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes. All of which can be a serious threat to health. Evidence has demonstrated that exercising 5 sessions per week of 30 mins duration has been found to reduce your risk of death by up to 64% !!!! Even in those who have a history of treatment for cancer and those who smoke….
So exercise truly is medicine as they say !!!2. Happiness!!! – Whilst you might not think it when Martin is asking for that last rep in circuits regular running, like most forms of exercise makes you feel gooooood!!!
When you run special substances are released such as endocannabinoids, endoprhins, encephalins and DHEA. All big long words but basically they are your bodies natural feel good factor and anti-depressants. This is whywhen you’ve had a tough day, your feeling sluggish or you just need to ‘clear your head’ that running makes you feel so good. For these reasons and point 3 below running (particularly at a friendly club like PRC) maintains positive mental health and can be valuable in the treatment of depression, anxiety an many other mental health conditions. 3. Friendships and relationships – joining a running club is a great way to forge new friendships and even meet a partner!!! Many friendships, relationships and even marriages have occurred as a direct result of attending a running club. This is also a great way to make you happier (see point 2!!!). So if you are new to an area, want to meet new friends, get fit whilst having fun a running club is a great way to achieve this. This can obviously have a ripple effect into other areas of your life and certainly helps you to be more effective in your occupation as ‘ripple’ effects…. 4. Positive body image – as well as feeling great (points 2/3) you will find that regular exercise combined with a healthy, balanced diet will result in positive changes to your body shape. Whatever your goal is such as weight loss, trimming up for the beach, getting in shape for your wedding or working off the fall-out from that all inclusive holiday or Christmas then running is a fantastic way to burn calories. Even AFTER you have finished running your body continues to burn calories… Double whammy!!
People make weight loss very complicated but at the end of the day it is a basic numbers game!! Remember that calories in versus calories out needs to be matched to maintain a healthy BMI. Running burns calories and if this creates a calorie deficit each day of 300-500 calories then in most cases you lose weight in a gradual and healthy manner. 5. Strength – regular running strengthens and fortifies your body… As long as the training load (see my previous article on this) is sufficient to cause positive adaptations in the body. So for example regular running strengthens muscles – if you carry a higher lean muscle mass then this tissue burns more calories… See point 4 and you begin to appreciate just how powerful exercise is !!
For those with reduced bone density (typically but not always ladies) then running is a form of weight bearing activity which stimulates bone turn-over and this in turn strengthens bones. Regular running also ‘strengthens’ our heart – regular training results in a heart muscle which is stronger and more effective.. And finally it strengthens our mind – that last rep you push out when you didn’t think you could, that last squat you performed when your legs felt like jelly.. they are all examples of mental ‘challenges’ which over-ride our bodies safety valve -the central governor…
This is just a small overview of some of the many health and wellness benefits of running. I hope you have found this article useful.
For those of you new to running then consider enrolling on the couch to 5k programme at PRC – http://penkridgerunners.co.uk/couch-to-5k-january-2020
And for those who are already training regularly then maintain your consistency in 2020 and aim to push forward by setting new goals and progressively challenging your body to do more
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2020!!
Active Therapy is a specialized clinic of The Running Clinic who are world leaders in the field of injury risk reduction and treatment of running injury. We have completed intensive training over several years and we are experts in running injury assessment and treatment. We have a high level of clinical competence and serve as a reference to other health professionals and contribute to advancing knowledge through scientific research and education.
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This article was written by Andrew Caldwell – Active Therapy.
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