I've been a fitness junkie for as long as I can remember. I love writing. It allows me to share my knowledge and expertise with others.
If you're looking for a fun way to push your endurance and get your heart rate going, nothing works better than running. The feeling you get pounding the pavement early in the morning is exhilarating. Running however is more than just a fun way to get in shape. it has a multitude of advantages that everyone can benefit from, including:
- building stronger bones
- relieving stress
- maintain mental focus
- weight loss
- heart health
Hitting the pavement can also be hard on the body, however. Before you begin a running regimen, take these steps to be sure your new workout doesn't do more harm than good.
Tips for Beginning Runners
You may be tempted to get out, hit the pavement, and get in the best shape of your life. That's great, but there's a little more to running than just starting. Injuries are common among new runners. Some never even make it pass their first session without getting hurt and can find themselves never being able to run again. Here are three ways you can prevent this.
A. Strength Training
Strong muscles can protect us from the impact that running has on our bodies. Planks, squats and over head lunges are great ways to strengthen our body and prepare it for running.
B. Walk it out
You've probably heard the old saying that "You've got to crawl before you can walk" right? Well the same goes for running. Depending on your level of fitness; you may want to try walking a mile before you can run it. This will help prepare your body to handle the strain that running can place on it.
C. Find Your Form
In the world of running, there are a multitude of bad forms all of which can cause serious injury. Proper form is key! When you run be sure to keep your knees in line, your elbows at a 90 degree angle and to maintain short, quick strides.
Benefits of a Healthy Running Workout
Now that you know how to protect your body from injury while running, you're ready to reap the many benefits. Here's how running can boost your health, at any age, when protective measures are taken.
- Be sure to stretch before and after your workout!
1. Builds Stronger Bones
As we age our bones start to weaken and can become brittle, running however can be an excellent way to prevent this. As you run, you place stress not only on, your legs and core but your bones as well. To deal with this stress, our bodies force our bones to become stronger. It does this by sending osteoblasts directly to the surface of the bone(s) being affected.
2. Relieves Stress
Running is perhaps one of the best ways to relieve stress. When we run, our body creates endorphins. These are hormones produced by our plutaritary gland and aid in stress relief. These hormones are the cause of what is known as a "Runners high", they block pain and give us a euphoric feeling, a feeling that is similar to that of marijuana. After a long strenuous run, many runners are able to achieve a runners high. When they do, they are able to relieve their stress and become come mentally healthier.
3. Keeps You on the Ball
If you're worried about falling off the ball in your old age, running can help alleviate you of that concern. There was a study published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review in 2012 that showed that running regularly can help prevent mental decline as you age. It does this by stimulating the brain allowing it to maintain older network connections and create new ones that are necessary for healthy cognition.
4. Lose Weight Quickly
Running is the perfect way to burn calories and lose weight. High intensity exercises tend to continue to burn fat even after you've finished your run. It is believed that this may be due to fact that your resting energy stays elevated even after you've stopped. It also has the potential to be less time consuming than other exercises. It's estimated that we burn around 100 calories per mile. What this mean is that, depending on your speed, you can burn as much as 100 calories about every seven minutes.
5. Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease is a form of cardiovascular disease and has been ranked as the number 1 leading cause of death worldwide by the World Health Organization. According to the National heart, lung and Blood Institute, Coronary disease is an illness that causes a waxy plaque to build up inside of your arteries. What these arteries do is, supply oxygen rich blood to your heart muscles. Running regularly can help improve the overall health of your heart by:
A. Reducing the strain being placed on your heart.
B. Reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol that may form fatty deposits around your heart which can lead to heart disease.
C. Improving your circulation thus preventing blood cloths and other ailments such as a stroke or heart attack.
Running has a multitude of health benefits that we should all be taking advantage of. Not only does it help us with our physical appearance and well-being, it benefits us with our mental sanity as well and with proper preparations, you can be on your way to a healthier new you.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.