Let’s find out what are the running benefits for the body. Also benefits of running everyday, shape, brain and skin. The simplest form of exercise is also one of the most effective, with a host of benefits for body and mind.
Running is the best exercise for improving heart health, according to research published in the American Journal of Cardiology. The cardiovascular benefits include a reduction in resting heart rate and heart rate under stress, an increase in maximum oxygen uptake, and improved efficiency of the heart. Running helps lower harmful blood fats (particularly LDL cholesterol) and raises the ‘good cholesterol’ HDL. It also boosts blood circulation.
“Unless a runner is considerably undercutting the calories he needs, the body will not burn muscle for fuel, says running coach and founder of Track Mafia, Corry Wharton-Malcolm. “It’s under nutrition that’s the issue, not the running. If you eat too few calories, your body will burn fat but will also start to burn muscle, so it’s important for runners to eat a healthy diet with plenty of protein.”
Balance and Stability
“If you’re new to running, you should start out slow,” says Vikash Sharma, co-owner of Perfect Stride, “because running requires your body to stabilise your joints as you move, as well as accepting forces up to three times your body weight with each step. Running is a series of single leg hops repeated over and over again very quickly, which means strength and stability is a prerequisite but also a result of consistent training.”
Regular running can reduce symptoms of depression, sharpen memory, alleviate anxiety and help you relax. It’s also been shown to improve learning ability, and protect the brain from ageing and cognitive decline. “Running helps you sleep better, increases creative thinking and reduces cravings for unhealthy foods and substances like alcohol,” adds Wharton-Malcolm.
Full Body Fitness
The main muscles you work when you run are your quads, hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes and calf muscles,” says Whart-on Malcolm, “but it also works and tones the core muscles, which are involved with keeping your spine aligned as you move. Running also requires you to swing your arms, which works and tones the biceps and triceps, while covering long distances aids the development and efficiency of slow-twitch muscle fibres: their aerobic capabilities improve and they become more resistant to fatigue.
Any amount of running can reduce risk of an early death, according to British Journal of Sports Medicine reports, while research has also shown that regular aerobic exercise purges the blood of a substance known as kynurenine, which accumulates during times of stress. Running has been shown to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and thrombosis, and reduces the production of cortisol and adrenaline (the stress hormones).
Although running is a high-impact sport, recent research has revealed that it’s beneficial to joint and bone health. Studies among middle-aged runners at University College London and Bart’s Heart Centre found that training for and running a marathon improves knee strength. And a 2019 study showed that in healthy people, bones respond to stress by reforming, rather than weakening.
Calorie burn will vary from one runner to the next, but coupled with the right diet and resistance training, running can contribute significantly to weight management. One study, involving over 32,000 runners and over 15,000 walkers, found that when followed up after 6.2 years, the runners lost significantly more weight than the walking group. What’s more, if you take things up a notch, high-intensity running produces an after burn effect, so the body continues
to torch through calories long after you’ve put your feet up.
Feeding your brain with oxygen from a run may do more to fend off the onset of dementia than sitting down to do a crossword or mind puzzle, say researchers from King’s College London. That’s in keeping with a growing body of evidence that suggests cardiovascular exercise is a much better way to protect the brain from dementia than exercising it with Sudoku or brain-training games.
Taking the opportunity to run in the woods, countryside or urban green spaces is the perfect tonic for cluttered minds. A Finnish study reported in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that the more time people spent running in the great outdoors, the more positive their results during psychological stress tests were.