Physical health and wellness are among the top concerns of people. From the numerous ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay physically fit, running is simply overlooked as a full body workout. But running isn’t just a cardiovascular exercise.
The advantages of running were studied over the years and show that not only does running benefit you physically, but mentally as well. Backed by science and hard facts, here are some of the ways running regularly can improve your mental ability.
Great Cardiovascular Conditioning
One of the primary impacts running can have on your health is an improved cardiovascular system. A 2014 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that running not only lowers high blood pressure but also promotes heart health. People who run at least 5 minutes a day can cut the risk of getting a cardiovascular disease by almost half. Regular runners also experience a 30% decrease in risk of death via all causes.
Running is so good for you that it is proven to increase your lifespan. The same study showed that people who run at least 5 minutes a day added at least three years to their life.
Stronger Knees and Joints
The old wives’ tale of running being bad for your knees has long been proven a myth. A report released by Arthritis Care & Research shows that there is no direct relation to chronic knee pains and running. In fact, running increases bone mass, even as you age. Running has also been proven to prevent bone mass loss as you age.
A Great Way to Start Your Mornings
Running is a great way to start your day. Exercises like running give you a rush of happy hormones called endocannabinoids. These are responsible for what is called the “runner’s high.” Recently, studies have shown that the good mood you feel after exercise lasts far longer after. In fact, a 2012 study showed that regular exercise is proven to prevent serious depressive disorders.
A Great Way to Get More Sleep
Running also aids in better sleep. Researchers found that those who regularly ran in the morning showed improvement in objective sleep and the sleepiness during the day decreased. It also showed improvements in subjective sleep quality, mood and concentration during the day.
Sharper Brain Performance
Aerobic exercises like running increase your heart rate which increases oxygen in your blood. This affects all organs, including your brain. A study published in 2012 shows that specific cognitive functions like task switching, selective attention and working memory all benefit from regular exercise. This same study also says that running can be effective in dealing with age-related decreases in mental functions.
Running Aids with Cancer
The Big C is not an easy disease to defeat. But a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition showed that physical exercise is associated with a lower risk of Cancer. Furthermore, cancer patients who run have shown improvement in the quality of life while undergoing chemotherapy.
As a form of exercise, running has all the benefits one can ask for. It can tone muscles; improve moods and even fight back Father Time. Running is incredibly easy to do and with these perks, it should be considered as your primary form of exercise.