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Health and Fitness

25 Reasons Why Running Is The Ultimate Workout

by Teddi Ginsberg Published on 23 May 2014
484 shares

​Have you ever noticed how runners always seem to be happy and upbeat, no matter what? It's not a coincidence. Running has so many benefits that it's hard to see how any other sport can ever match up. So if you're a runner already or are thinking of starting, here's the definitive list of every reason running is the best damn workout there is.

1. It's convenient

Unlike a class or an activity, running doesn't have to be booked and scheduled ahead of time. Conditions pending, you can do it whenever you like.

2. It's efficient

Running works every part of our body. It's both a cardio and a strength sesh and tackles muscles almost everywhere.

3. It'll help you live longer

Running can increase lung function and boost your immune system. It's also recommended for people with high blood pressure and osteoporosis. These health improvements enable you to live longer, and healthier, and what is better than that?

4. It's free

You don't have to shell out dough for a gym membership, fancy equipment, or boutique studio classes. All you need is a good pair of trainers and you're ready to go!

5. It's a calorie torcher

Running can burn twice as many calories as walking can over the same distance. Need we say more?

6. It's an energy booster

It may sound counterproductive, but exercising - particularly running - actually helps to wake up your body and provide the energy you need for the rest of the day.

7. It's a stress reliever

Running forces your body to emit energy and hormones. In turn, you get mood-improving endorphins. It's a pretty good deal really.

8. It gives you confidence

By setting and achieving small goals (run a 9-minute mile, tackle your first 5K) you are reminding yourself just how awesome you are (in case you forgot).

9. It's heart healthy

Running strengthens the heart and arteries, reducing your chances of suffering a heart attack. Although there has been a lot of talk about long distance running being bad for your heart, the most recent study published in BMJ Open concluded that long distance running did in fact improve the cardiovascular risk profile.

10. It can be done alone - or not

Many exercises are either done solo (like a gym workout) or with a large group (like a spin class). Running gives you the option to workout solo, to join a running group, or to mix it up!

11. It's a great way to connect with a friend

Instead of catching up with a friend over wine and french fries, why not suggest that she join you for your next jog? You'll feel great afterward, and then you'll have the option to grab (healthy) grub if you've worked up an appetite.

12. It increases stamina

The more you run, the more you build up endurance. Not only will you last longer when you run, but during other athletic activities too (wink, wink).

13. It chisels your core

Running engages and defines your midsection, which in turn improves posture and performance.

14. It eliminates depression

All of these other benefits - strength, stamina, stress relief - allow you to feel better overall and keep negative thoughts at bay. But a 2006 study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal concluded that just a single bout of 30 minute exercise - like running - instantly lifted the mood of participants with depression.

15. It helps you sleep

A good run will help to tire you out at the end of the day, making it easier to hit the hay come bedtime. Plus, if you plan on an early morning run, you have no choice but to head to bed by a certain time the night before so that you're well-rested come sunrise.

16. It gives you Vitamin D

The fresh air is good for you, and the Vitamin D benefits from being out in the sunshine are endless. (Just make sure you apply sunscreen and wear a hat, please!)

17. It's seasonless

You can swim in the summer and ski in the winter, but you can run any time of year! Severe weather getting in the way of your 5-miler? Hit the treadmill instead.

18. It's a great excuse to eat more carbs

As if we needed one. Carbohydrates pump up your energy stores, making them the perfect fuel for a run.

19. It's the perfect opportunity to listen to music

Can't blast music at home? Create an amazing playlist and you'll have something great to look forward to for your next run.

20. It's a fun way to discover your city, town, or neighbourhood

You know that saying, "Don't forget to stop and smell the roses?" This is much easier to do on foot than behind the wheel of a car. Being outside really enables you to pay attention to your surroundings and things you may not have even noticed otherwise.

21. It can be done anywhere

Travelling a bunch? No problem! While others may have to skip their regular workouts when they're out of town, all you need to get going is your trainers and (hopefully) some sunshine.

22. It's a great icebreaker

Headed to a party or event where you don't know anyone? Mentioning a recent race or favourite local running path is sure to strike up conversation.

23. It can improve your sex life

Regular running not only helps you to feel more comfortable in your own skin (and maybe in some sexy skivvies) it also allows you to become more flexible, making sex an activity to look forward rather than feel self conscious about.

24. It's a great way to give back

Many races are connected to charities. Running for a cause only makes the sport more meaningful.

25. It's an incredible community of people

The running community is made up of incredible people who support each other, whether they're friends or strangers. So what are you waiting for? Go on and join it!

Are you a runner? If not, did we change your mind? Tweet us @sofeminineUK?

by Teddi Ginsberg 484 shares

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