Let’s see, how do I sum this up without sounding like a baby…I hate running! At least, I hate running until after I’m done and feel like superwoman – full of energy and proud I finished something I didn’t originally want to do. Let’s face it running isn’t for everyone. However, running is one of the best workouts you can put your body through. In fact, I haven’t seen such great results with anything else as much as I have with interval running for about 30 minutes a day. While that alone is a great motivation to keep it up, I could always use more push. So, next time you’re sitting on the couch talking yourself out of a good run (as I often try to do), think about these motivating tips to help you to lace up your running shoes and hit the trails.
1. Good for your Heart: Running teaches your heart to condition itself to more effectively pump blood to your lungs. This means, running can strengthen your respiratory and cardiovascular system. Your heart won’t have to work as hard to pump the same amount of blood to your lungs thus lowering your resting heart rate and risk of heart disease.
2. Improves Sleep: Running is a great form of exercise and all exercise has been shown to reduce stress. Two and two together means the less stress you have when your head hits the pillow at night, the less your mind will be racing and keeping you awake. Also, running will wear your body out in a good way. The more energy you burn during the day, the less restless you will be at night when it’s time to turn out the light. (Remember, try not to exercise right before bed!)
3. Increases Sex Drive: Sure, heart health and what not are all great bonuses to running regularly, but I’m sure this is a benefit that most will find outweighs the rest. Running provides a great cardio workout to build stamina. Not to mention the muscle strength and flexibility you could gain. I’ll let you connect the dots on how those benefits would help your sex life.
4. Increases Weight Loss: Running is a top-notch calorie torcher. It constantly keeps your heart rate up thus melting off the calories. Try an interval workout of walking and running for a total of 30 minutes. I like walking for a minute and running for five until I hit my 30 minute mark. Give your interval of choice a try and see if you notice a difference!
5. Improves Mental Well Being and Energy: When something is bothering you, a good run could be all you need to find a solution. Running is a great way to clear your mind of all things jumbling up your decision-making abilities. Once that runner’s high has been hit, it’s easy to let go of the stresses which can seem to be weighing you down. A good run can be highly therapeutic! Not to mention the energy boost you can experience for the rest of the day after a good run!
6. Strengthens Bones: Just like muscles, bones can be strengthened by regular exercise, especially regular resistance exercises like running. When running, your body puts more weight on your bones and they respond by building more bone mass to keep up with the demand. This increase in bone mass helps to prevent osteoporosis and bone loss as you age.
7. Improves Coordination and Balance: Running outside on, say, unpaved or uneven paths, requires a great deal more coordination and balance than running on a treadmill. It’s necessary to pay attention to the holes in the ground, the branches jutting out, or the winding path. This mentally and physically improves both coordination and balance.
8. Lowers Blood Pressure: Any form of exercise can lower your blood pressure, but none as effective as an aerobic activity such as running.
9. Improves Your Posture: When running with the proper form, your body tends to relax, shoulders lower, and back straightens. These are all keys to good posture, which puts less pressure on your spine as well aiding in your slender appearance.
10. Because I said so: enough said.