August 17, 2010

Health Benefits of Running

Posted in Category : Exercise

There are various benefits an individual can obtain from running. There are some who simply enjoy running, while others run so that they can remain in good health. Either way, running and health go hand in hand. The health Benefits of running include enhanced cardiovascular health, stronger bones, weight loss, improved coordination and better mental health.

Those looking to lose weight would benefit from running as it helps to achieve and maintain healthy body weight. Running is a great form of exercise, especially for weight loss since the individual expends considerable energy while running. This means that the body also burns off more calories. Other forms of exercise such as walking or yoga do not use so many calories since they are less taxing. Weight loss could be achieved by burning more calories than one consumes. This calorie deficit results in shedding of extra weight which is stored as fat. A calorie deficit of 3500 calories would lead to the loss of one pound of weight. This is equivalent to utilizing 500 calories each day. Runners would tend to burn off these calories in just an hour. However, the number of calories you burn while running also depends upon your weight, efficiency of running and how intense the exercise is. There are also some other benefits of running and health of the cardiovascular system is one of them. Running and high blood pressure is also closely linked since it enables the arteries to preserve their elasticity. This lowers the blood pressure levels. While running, the expansion and contraction of the arteries is likely to be three times more than what it is when a person is sedentary. This improves the overall bodily functioning and the possibility of heart attack or stroke is also reduced.

Running and health is associated in yet another way. People who run undergo less muscle and bone loss as they age as compared to those who don’t run. In response to the physical demands placed on the body, the muscles and bones grow stronger. Those with sedentary lifestyles may experience weakening of the bones and muscles. This could pose the risk of osteoporosis as they advance in age. Running also alters person’s mood as there is a release of endorphins. Endorphins are hormones which result in a euphoric sensation. This is referred to as ‘runner’s high’ and it is also the reason why some people link running and meditation. Running is also known to improve coordination. Trail running especially, involves significant coordination due to the unevenness of the surfaces. Even those who run on a flat surface experience this improvement since the body is forced to work in coordination to keep the individual upright and on the correct path.