Why Running Is Important For Your Physical And Mental Health

Running, like any other high impact exercise, can be quite an uncomfortable and painful experience if you haven’t done it in a while or you simply have never tried it before. You will notice that the first couple of days or even weeks after you start running, your muscles and joints will be painful. This is the stage when most people decide to quit, thinking that running is just not for them. But, the truth of the matter is that if you stick to it, it will get better and better over time. And, a time will come when you will actually begin to enjoy your daily morning or evening jog.

Of course, people take up running for various reasons. For some it’s because they want to lose weight, for others it’s for health reasons, while for others it’s simply because they want to keep fit. Whatever the reason might be, running is a good form of exercise and it has many benefits. However, because it is a high-impact type of work-out, it is recommended that you begin slowly. There is no need to put too much pressure on yourself when you are just starting. You could for example start by stretching your muscles before you start. After stretching, you can move on to walking briskly. After a few minutes, you then start to jog. You can continue on that pace for a while until you feel comfortable enough to increase the pace bit by bit.

The point is that there is really no need to put any pressure on yourself or your body. They say Rome was not built in a day, and this is true for anything that is worthwhile in life. Therefore, no matter what your reason is for running, you will not achieve your goals quickly; it will take time. So, it is best to do it properly from the onset. Listen to your body, but at the same time strive to do better every single day until you reach your goal.

Safety is Key

When running, safety is also key. There is a type of injury that is known as overuse injury. You can get this injury if you engage in a particular physical activity too quickly without giving your body time to adapt. You can also get the injury due to wrong techniques when carrying out that activity. There are certain things that you can do in order to prevent the injury. Apart from ensuring that you stretch before and after running and that you increase the intensity of the exercise gradually, you should also buy the proper running shoes and alternate between two or three types of workouts. When it comes to mixing up your workouts, you can run today and then go for a swim the next day; and if you plan on exercising a couple of days a week, you can still mix up the activities.

If you are thinking of taking up running, here are some reasons that can help to motivate you even further:

Boost Your Mood

The reality of life is that at one point or the other you will suffer a disappointment or heartache, or things will just happen that you either didn’t plan for or you never expected; such is life. It is therefore very important how you deal with the blows of life because they will affect your mood. One of the best ways to improve one’s mood is to exercise, and running will do just that for you. Even if you are not a regular or occasional runner, studies have proved that if you are feeling down and you exercise for some minutes, it will actually boost your mood and leave you feeling happier.

So, if just one workout session can make such a positive impact, it is not difficult to imagine what regular exercise will do in your day to day life. If you are someone who suffers from depressive disorders such as anxiety or depression, and you are just not into working out, maybe you should consider running to help you with such disorders. Running will not only help to improve your mood, you will also be able to sleep better and focus better.

Lose Weight and Keep It Off

Another reason why you should start running is that it will help you to not only shed the pounds, but to also keep the weight off. Every time you work out, you burn calories. What some people do not realize is that your body continues to burn calories even after you are done exercising; this is what is called afterburn. Imagine yourself relaxing in front of the television after working out and still burning fat. You can benefit from afterburn through moderate exercise such as jogging; you don’t have to sprint in order to get that extra bonus. However, in order to get the full benefits of running, you must ensure that you combine it with eating right.

Make sure that your diet consists of healthy food choices. That does not mean that you can never eat pizza all your life; just take the ‘everything in moderation’ approach to eating and you will do just fine. Once you have reached your goal weight, maintaining that weight becomes important. If you decide to stop working out simply because you have reached your ideal weight, chances that you will gain it back again are very high. Exercising should become a lifestyle to you, not a burden. If it becomes a lifestyle, you will regard it in the same manner as you regard other activities such as grocery shopping, working or cleaning your house.

Live Longer

It has been concluded through various studies that if you exercise regularly, you will actually live longer. Of course, you will have to take into account other lifestyle choices such as the food you eat and whether or not you smoke cigarettes. However, in spite of such choices, if running is part of your lifestyle, you will have more years on this planet when compared to someone who does not exercise.

Boost the Immune System

Another reason why you should run on a regular basis is that it will assist to fight off infections, even the not so dangerous infections such as the common cold or flu. The reason why exercises such as running help to keep infections at bay is because they help to improve one’s immune system. Adequate white blood cells are needed in order to fight off an infection and when you run, there will be a rise in the number of white blood cells in the body; thus, boosting your immune system.

As can be seen, running has proven physical and mental benefits. If you are a regular runner, continue running. If you have never tried running, make it part of your lifestyle; but take it one step at a time until your body adjust to the new activity.