Regular running or a decently-paced jog is a great way to ideally start or even end the day. Running not only energizes the entire body into action but also clears the mind to open up new avenues of thought, often triggered by the views and people encountered along the path.
Brisk walks are an effective alternative for those who are unable to directly hit the track for various reasons. That being said, one can ramp up the pace into a neat jog over time, if health permits. Here are some of the best health benefits of regular running.
The Amazing Health Benefits of Regular Running
Regular running is an ideal way to shed excess body weight in a systematic manner. The entire body is put to action, burning down excess fat into smaller disposable units that can easily be absorbed over time. Running at a speed of 10 minutes per mile, an individual of average weight can easily shed about 300 calories over a ½ hr course, making it the best way to tone up muscles and get rid of fat.
Cardiovascular exercises aim to tone the heart muscles to keep pace with hectic schedules faced on a regular basis. Regular running helps improve the pumping mechanism of the heart, increases arterial activity and blood circulation, reducing the risks or heart attacks and high blood pressure in the process. Clogged or stiff arteries are the main causes of serious heart problems. Maintaining the elasticity of the heart muscles with appropriate exercises or jogging is natural way to steer clear of cardiac problems.
Muscles, tendons and ligaments of the entire body, especially the lower body and limbs are strengthened and tone by regular running. This protects them from injuries that otherwise may affect those who do not bother to exercise. Skin tone and texture also improves as the body is exposed to natural elements, and also regularly flushes out toxins during the routine.
Improved Immune System
Regular running also does a lot of good to the immune system as a result of flushing out toxins, waste and dead cells from the body, improving the ability to fight off diseases such as diabetes and asthma. Blood sugar levels remain under control and the tendency for insulin resistance is also reduced, allowing diabetics to opt for flexible dietary plans.
Jogging or running also improves the breathing pattern, strengthening the respiratory system in general and making it easier for asthma patients to counter the problems of this condition.
Better General Health
Running does a lot of good to health in general as it tones the body to meet any eventuality, improves alertness, quickens responses, and when combine with other exercises, makes the body more flexible to handle daily activities with casual ease.
Psychological Benefits of Regular Running
We saw that running offered loads of visible health benefits, which make it easier for people to appreciate and adopt the routine. However, regular running or jogging also offers a psychological boost that comes not only out of being in perfect shape, but also because of a sense of self-control derived from following a regular physical fitness routine.
Relief from Stress
Regular running acts as an effective stress buster for anyone experiencing high levels of stress in their daily life. Stress, in fact, is known as a silent killer, as it quietly affects all vital functions of the body, increases blood pressure, affects emotional balance, trigger anger, anxiety and mood fluctuations severely affecting the quality of life and decision-making abilities of individuals.
A quick sprint or a relaxed jog allows people some quality time for themselves if they wish to attempt the routine on their own. Moving along familiar or new routes amidst a waft of fresh breeze, mulling over new ideas, existing problems or simply soaking in the environs – running energizes both the mind and the body.
A walk or a jog along with a friend or family member improves relationships, while listening to music or news when on the track has its own benefits.
Scientifically Proven Benefits of Regular Running
For those looking for scientific proofs to support the stress-busting and physical effects of running – note that running or exercising releases endorphins – neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for triggering a ‘feel good’ sensation in the body.
Ongoing research on the enzyme complex Target of Rapamycin (TOR) reveals that this complex governs intracellular activity. It works to preserve dead cells as food sources during good times to counter famine. Interestingly, cells forage on other healthy cells for survival when the body is famished, and TOR responsibly stocks dead cells to cater to the feeding frenzy during such times.
When the body is starved, TOR is turned off and dead cells are released from the system. Running or exercising tends to induce an artificial resource scarcity, forcing waste out of the body. TOR also has a proven influence on longevity, immunity and youth, and is known to be controllable by aerobics and running.
Most of us use a pair of running shoes or cross trainers while on our regular morning or evening exercise routines. Barefoot running or “natural running” is yet another way of harnessing the health benefits of regular running.
Given the polluted city environment, barefoot running is best experienced with barefoot running shoes; yes, shoes that offer nearly the same feel as running without them, but with adequate protection for the feet.
Several reputed footwear manufacturers deal in special barefoot running shoes, and it is quite easy to browse the various models and buy your choice of barefoot running shoes online from the manufacturers themselves or retailers.
How to Choose Barefoot Running Shoes
Looking to buy barefoot running shoes online? Take care to choose the right shoe. Barefoot shoes offer minimum protection trying to mimic the barefoot feel, are made of lightweight material, and are designed along the contours of natural feet. These shoes should, in fact, fit snugly without any extra space around the toes. Barefoot shoes are best suited for people with a natural high arch. Try out the shoes at the local store for the best fit before deciding to buy barefoot running shoes online.
As you see, the health benefits of regular running are pretty impressive. The only thing you have to do is pull yourself together and incorporate running into your daily routine.
Running is beneficial in several ways to boost the metabolism of the body and the mind.
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Health Benefits of Running by Craig Lewis, MD