Suppose you have decided not to be a couch potato anymore. And you plan to go out and connect with nature, and you wish to move your body and go running, but you are wondering: what does running do to your body composition? Or how running changes your life?
Then in this article, we will highlight all the potential benefits of running, how a beginner should prepare, and common mistakes that they should avoid.
Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen. – Michael Jordan
Running can change your life in every aspect. It is associated with a lot of benefits that not only impact your body but your brain too.
It helps build stronger bones, strengthen your muscles, burn calories, and help maintain a healthy weight. Running is a form of cardio that is easily accessible and is very easy to perform.
If you wish to have a longer life expectancy and a productive and healthy lifestyle, you should add running habits to your routine.
It keeps you healthy, helps to lose fat, and improves your overall lifestyle. It prevents chronic diseases, keeps you safe from illness, and boosts your energy levels. You will feel good about yourself, and it is right for your body. These are just a few benefits of running.
Further, in this article, we will give evidence on how amazing running is and how does running impacts your entire body?
How to start running and make it part of your daily routine-
- Running is an excellent habit of indulging in. It impacts your physical and mental health. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes and a willingness to move your body.
- Get clearance from your doctor. If you have had any injury or are on medication, it is always better to first get it monitored by your doctor, take their advice and follow the precautions.
- What kind of running shoes you wear while running matters, so make sure that you invest in the right running shoes which are comfortable for your foot.
- Always dress in lightweight fibers that are easy to breathe through. They help you stay dry and comfortable while working out and not soak thoroughly in sweat.
- It is always a good idea to do a warm-up before starting running. It helps you to keep your body safe from injuries. You can start with a simple, easy jog to increase your intensity and warm your muscles.
- Use the run-walk method, for many people the combination of running with intervals of walking has made it easy to endure and also it gives less stress to their joints you can start with 1 minute of running followed by 1 minute of walking and do at your pace and however you feel comfortable.
- It is essential to eat right and stay hydrated. Make fluids a part of your lifestyle. As you lose water through sweat, you should drink a lot of water to recover. As running leads to energy expenditure, you should consume nutritious meals. Avoid consuming alcohol and smoking as they highly damage your body composition.
- You should carry your water and hydrate yourself between your runs. Make sure to eat something light that is high on carbohydrates. Always eat 90 to 20 minutes before your run.
- The most important thing is to keep your motivation high, you can form a runners group for regular running. To make running more pleasant, you can listen to music while running.
Add music to your playlist that keeps you energized. All this will make sure that you build a regular running routine.
The drawback is that you should listen at a very low volume to be aware of the noises in your environment and run safely.
Now, let’s move ahead and check how running affects your body.
What does running do to your body?
1) Uplifts your mood and has many mental health benefits
The benefits of running are limited to your physical health and mental health. Spending barely 30 minutes running is enough to uplift your mood, and it has several mental health benefits.
Running has some great mood-lifting benefits and can help one recover from a depressive disorder.
Running outdoors is a great escape from your never-ending work. It provides fresh air to your lungs, your brain and also clears your emotional state. Your mind stimulates a connection.
Running outdoors also gives you Vitamin D, which helps your immune system, bones, and eyes and improves your mental health overall. It enables you to cope with day-to-day stress. Running also releases endorphins.
Running is an effective treatment. It serves as an alternative to certain medical treatments. In some experiments, it was found that physically active people have less chance of panicking in fearful situations.
However one should not just depend on running to battle depression, they should also take their prescribed medicines.
2) Strengthen your bones and increases stamina
Running is a high-impact activity that stresses our bones so that it becomes very healthy. As a response to stress, your bones respond by getting stronger. Running can improve your bone density and bone health. It is a very great benefit as we age and get older.
When you run actively, the motion makes new bone tissues and helps in getting stronger bones. You should add weight lifting to your upper body for overall balance as running benefits your lower body, and balance is very important.
Running also helps to build stamina. It increases your power and stresses your heart, lungs, and vascular system, which in turn increases your strength and endurance. Running generates new neurons and increases the level of serotonin.
3) Running adds years to your life expectancy
Research has shown that running can add more years to your life expectancy. Running tends to add three more years to your life. Even a little run can help you be more fit and active, and it extends your life.
Running is a good option for someone too busy to exercise. Running reduces the risk of premature death. It leads to substantial improvement, good health, and longevity.
4) Running helps to improve knee health
Many people find it hard to believe this benefit of running but running helps to improve your knee health and minimizes joint pain.
Knee pain is a common complaint among runners, but multiple studies have shown that running strengthens the joints and prevents the development of osteoarthritis later in life.
Things that make running harder on your knees are-
The bad form of running, bad shoes, not maintaining good posture, and the rigid surface can make running harder on your knees. Beyond running and wearing the right shoes, it is also vital that you protect your knee while you are running.
Make sure that you don’t go too hard. If your muscles are tight, then you are likely to injure yourself.
Before you run, do some basic stretching, and even after you are done with running, you should do some stretches and let your body relax.
5) Running helps you in weight loss and reduces body fat
Running helps you lose bodyweight because you are constantly moving your body weight, and it helps burn more calories and body fat than most other activities that you perform. It is great news for anyone who wants to indulge in weight loss.
The best thing is that you don’t have to run fast to achieve maximum burn calories. You can just run at your own pace. At 5 mph, 160 pounds person easily burns 606 calories in an hour, and a 200-pound person burns 755 calories in an hour.
Running lowers the risk of cardiovascular health. If you wish to lose weight, you should also work on your intake as diet impacts weight loss with running.
You should have proper sleep stress management and be happy for sustainable health. You have to be consistent and don’t be hard on yourself.
6) Running helps to get sound sleep
A body performs well when it gets enough sleep. Exercise helps you to fall asleep more quickly and improve your sleep quality.
The more you run, the more you need good sleep. Sleeping late is not a healthy habit, and exercise helps you sleep like a baby.
Once you get good sleep, everything aligns. Running regulates your body temperature.
A night of good sleep helps to recover from all the pain. Getting good sleep can lengthen your life span.
Running makes you live longer than one’s who sit on the couch. And better sleep leads to better performance in every aspect.
7) Running improves your cardiovascular health
The benefits of running are so huge that they reduce the risk of heart disease and improve cardiovascular fitness, and people who run tend to have healthy hearts.
Not only does it improve your cardiovascular health, but it also regulates your blood pressure and improves insulin sensitivity. For people who have diabetes, their blood sugar can come down.
Running is also ideal for diabetes as it helps the body’s insulin resistance. It keeps your cholesterol level in check and helps to maintain high blood pressure.
Nowadays, younger adults tend to suffer from cardiovascular disease, so you should go for a run to be healthy.
Running decreases heart disease by 30 to 35%. It also prevents blood clots in the blood vessels. When you run, your heart muscles are strong, there is increased blood flow, improving overall efficiency.
You don’t have to cover longer distances for good health. Even small intervals of running can impact your cardiovascular system.
8) Running makes your lungs better
Running like many aerobic exercises is beneficial to improve your lung health. When you start running, you often become short on breath, but you find breathing easier with time.
This is because the lungs learn how to deliver more oxygen to the bloodstream, becoming more efficient. It also gets the waste product out of our bodies—the endurance capacity of our lungs increases which helps us get more deep and fuller breaths.
When you regularly run, you grow more capillaries, which means you get more oxygen to your muscles quickly. The more alveoli you grow, the more it transports oxygen into the veins.
Running clears your lungs and helps you in deep breathing. When you run outdoors, you feel free and maximize your lung health.
9) You feel confident in yourself
Once you start with running, you begin to grow confident. You get control of your life and body. It helps to build confidence and increases your self-esteem. Running makes you physically fit.
When you look in the mirror, you feel healthy and strong. You feel good inside and out. Running also helps you form habits, makes you more disciplined and motivated and develops a positive outlook in your life.
Running helps you discover your potential, and you become more capable. Running enables you to overcome the negative voice in your head and help you reach goals, and you tend to make more progress.
Running helps you get out of the bad habits and patterns, and you start indulging in healthy ones. You are energized, and you don’t persistently feel tired. Running also improves your decision-making skills.
You get in shape and improve your posture and appearance.
10) Running affects your physical and mental health
Emotional and mental sufferings can consume you for a longer time. Running produces chemicals that help you fight and forget your physical pain. It also evokes feel-good emotions.
You become more intelligent. Running rejuvenates your mind and body. It connects your brain to your body, and you start having high-level thoughts and you’re easily focused on challenging tasks. Running also improves your academic achievement.
Running improves learning. Running adds numbers to your life expectancy and improves the quality of life you lead.
There is a lot of scientific evidence showing that running has long-lasting physical and mental health benefits and goes beyond weight loss and strength training.
Running is the most simple and effective form of exercise.
Common running mistakes that non-runners should avoid-
Not stretching enough-
If you want to avoid injury, stretch before or after a run. It should be dynamic and not static, you need to do active movement and don’t hold any movement for too long.
You should always warm up your muscles before running. You can do glute bridges, or pelvic drops to warm up. Find out what works best for you and helps you move your body and always cool down after your work.
Cover short distances-
Don’t try to cover a lot of mileage. It is easy to be highly motivated and try to cover a lot of lengths. Overloading of the body leads to injury, so you should be smart about your choices try to cover more distance by implementing bits of it.
Try to implement by a small distance in a few weeks and not burn yourself out.
Balance is the key-
People tend to believe that you should run very fast to burn many calories, but you should try to keep a balance and not run too fast or too slow.
Try to build a mileage that works for you and improves your pace.
Don’t neglect your injuries-
The biggest mistake that you can do is to ignore your injury. You should never do that. It is always better to be cautious.
In case of any injury, you should directly visit a doctor because it could end up being something more serious and can lead to long-term damage.
Invest in the right shoes-
Having the right kind of shoes can change your run and help prevent injuries. It is better to invest in a good pair of shoes rather than any random shoe.
Bad shoes also lead to a foot injury, so it is always better to know when to change your shoes.
If you wish to add more years to your life, be more active, and have a healthy lifestyle, you should put on your running shoes and hit the pavement, as it is essential to lead a busy life.
Getting used to running may seem hard at first. Running is the most effective and accessible exercise. It improves aerobic fitness, and running is a great way to improve cardiovascular health.
It helps you to burn calories, build strength, have stronger bones. Running has a lot of psychological benefits.
But once your body and mind start to adapt, running can be a blissful activity that brings a lot of freedom.
It is never too late to begin, do not feel shy. With our overworking lifestyle, we tend to neglect our health.
So, try to adapt to a healthy lifestyle. Start with running, it is one of the simplest forms of exercise. All you need is a pair of good shoes, and 30 minutes of your 24 hours daily life.
Go! We are rooting for you.
Content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. Reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students.