As a form of cardio that’s readily available and practically costless, running is one of the most effective ways to exercise.
Research shows that just 30 minutes of running can have huge benefits on your short and long-term health. So, whether you’re thinking of starting to run, you’ve already started it, or wondering why you’re still doing it – we’ve picked out the top benefits to show why running is so great.
It burns calories
Running requires a lot of fuel (calories), which means you can expect to burn a good few! Typically, a 30-minute run will see you burn between 200-500 calories. However, what many people don’t know is that your body continues to burn calories even after you’ve run. Better known as the afterburn effect, for your body to return to its ‘normal’ state it needs to repair muscle, replenish oxygen, and remove excess waste products which means you’ll continue to burn calories up to 14 hours after your run! #Winning
It can help relieve stress and make you happier
Running stimulates the production of endorphins, commonly known as the ‘feel-good’ hormone of the body. Often, the fresh air of running outside can provide a real mood boost for some people and enable them to switch off and relax. That ‘runner’s high’ you might have heard of? It’s a real thing.
Over time, running strengthens the walls of the heart, making it one of the most efficient workouts. Running minimises your heart’s workload which means it can pump a larger amount of blood per beat. By running regularly you’ll improve your circulation while reducing the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke.
Running is cheap
Running is one of the cheapest forms of exercise you can do and is readily available 24/7. All you need is a pair of running shoes and an outfit to wear and you’re ready to go!
Running provides you with easy motivational targets
Quite often we will set ourselves admirable but unclear goals when it comes to exercising, such as losing weight or getting fitter, which can be poor motivators if we don’t see fast results. However, with running you can set yourself clear targets such as running a 5k without stopping or completing your first half or full marathon. And, if you’re a regular runner then you can work towards a new personal best. Apps such as Couch to 5k and Strava are great for tracking your progress and keeping you motivated.
You’ll get a better night’s sleep
Research has shown that runners find it easier to get to sleep at night and have improved sleep quality. Physical activity such as running increases time spent in ‘deep sleep’ which is the most physically restorative sleep phase. As well as improving the quality of your sleep, running can also help increase the length of time in your nightly rest. More sleep? We’re in!