How running improves your health
SCIENTIFIC research has proven that regular exercise (150 minutes per week, which is about 30 minutes, five times per week)— and running in particular—has health benefits that extend well beyond any pill a doctor could prescribe. Regular running can help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers, and a host of other unpleasant conditions. What’s more, scientists have shown that running also vastly improves the quality of your emotional and mental life. It even helps you live longer. Here’s how:
Running makes you happier.
Immediately after running, you experience “runner’s high”—that rush of feel-good hormones known as endocannabinoids. In a 2006 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers found that even a single bout of exercise—30 minutes of walking on a treadmill—could instantly lift the mood of someone suffering from a major depressive order. And even on those days when you have to force yourself out the door, exercise still protects you against anxiety and depression, studies have shown.
Running helps you lose or maintain weight.
With regular exercise, the burning of calories in your body continues after you stop. Studies have shown that regular exercise boosts “afterburn”—that is, the number of calories you burn after exercise.
It’s long been known that running increases bone mass, and even helps prevent age-related bone loss. But chances are, you’ve had family, friends, and strangers warn you that “running is bad for your knees.” Well, science has proven that it’s not. In fact, studies show that running improves knee health, according to Boston University researcher David Felson in an interview with National Public Radio.
“We know from many long-term studies that running doesn’t appear to cause much damage to the knees,” Felson said. “When we look at people with knee arthritis, we don’t find much of a previous history of running, and when we look at runners and follow them over time, we don’t find that their risk of developing osteoarthritis is any more than expected.”
Worried about senility? Working out regularly will help you stay mentally sharp. A 2012 study published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review concluded that the evidence is insurmountable that regular exercise helps defeat age-related mental decline, particularly functions like task switching, selective attention, and working memory. Studies consistently found that fitter older adults scored better in mental tests than their unfit peers.
Reducing risk of cancer
Maybe running doesn’t cure cancer, but there’s plenty of proof that it helps prevent it. A vast review of 170 epidemiological studies in the Journal of Nutrition showed that regular exercise is associated with a lower risk of certain cancers. What’s more, if you already have cancer, running (with your doctor’s approval) can improve your quality of life while you’re undergoing chemotherapy.
Even if you meet just the minimum of amount of physical activity—(30 minutes, 5 times per week), you’ll live longer. Studies show that when different types of people started exercising, they lived longer. Smokers added 4.1 years to their lives; non-smokers gained three years. Even if you’re still smoking, you’ll get 2.6 more years. Cancer survivors extended their lives by 5.3 years.
*All materials are only for your information, and should not be construed as medical advice. Where necessary, appropriate professionals should be consulted