The Benefits of Running

Runners have known for years the benefits of the sport. But as my years of running have come and gone, I see a lot of my friends still sitting on the sidelines, wondering whether or not to lace up their shoes and start running.  Running is incredibly effective at making you healthier in a number of ways.   Here are some reasons that running is actually good for you.

There are many health and physical benefits of running. First of all, it raises your good cholesterol, increases lung function, and improves your overall physical function.It helps control or elimate high blood pressure and strengthens bone density..   Running even helps your skin by giving increased blood flow. Exercise also helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow assists with carrying away waste products, including free radicals, from working cells.  It helps control ashthma and diabetes and other chronic ailments.

Here are some reasons that running is actually good for you.

For women running helps you lower your rise of break cancer. It also lessens types of cancer and helps those receiving chemotherapy treatment.   Many doctors today recommend running for people who are in the early stages of diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. And it is proven to help reduce the risk of having a heart attack. Moreover, it boosts your immune system and allows you to control your weight. It improves memory and your sex life.   It builds strong muscles and bones, and actually lengthens the life of your knees. Not only does it improve your quality of life but it also allows more quality as you age.

The biggest reason I run is the mental and psychological benefit. Running improves your social life and allows you time to spend with your favorite friends. Some runners enjoy the quiet and solitude of running on their own, but others see running time for social opportunities. Finding a running buddy or running with a group is a great way to develop a sense of community. You can set goals and accomplish them together. In addition, having a regular running buddy or group is a great way to stay motivated to run.  It allows you to meet people who you normally might not get to know in your social circle and who appreciate your running pursuits.    On a long run it is amazing how problems seem to work themselves out as you talk about your troubles.  I have even prayed silently and out loud on runs and seen many prayers answered during those runs.  During some of the most stressful times in my life have I used running as a way to deal with the stresses of life.  Running just does that.

For me running is a way of dealing with life.  When I accomplish a long run or a challenging race the other stressors of life are not as difficult to me.  It is a way of knowing that the discipline I gained from the miles will help me as I navigate through the difficult challenges of life.

 

It also boosts your self-confidence and lowers your stress level.   It further reduces your tension and anxiety. It also decreases your appetite. It boosts your memory and lengthens your life.  In addition, it lifts your mood and defeats depression––your brain will start to secrete hormones that naturally improve your mood. It can actually give you more energy and improve mental stamina. It also helps maintain brain function as you age.   It helps with decision making and allows you to forget your troubles. It boosts creativity and gives you mental, physical, emotional and psychological health.   Running helps helps you be one with nature.   Sleep is also enhanced with running.

 

You can use running to focus and train for a specific event.  It can be a great reason to go on a vacation, destination, or race––or better someone’s life through raising money for a specific event, volunteering as a pacer, or keeping your focus by training for a goal race.  It also allows you to experience new things. It is an inexpensive sport and can be done anytime and any time of the year.  Even in the coldest of climates, running gear is made so that the sport can be performed in most kinds of weather. Last of all running allows you to find a sense of freedom, be a kid again, and experience the joy of feeling good.

 

Last I believe that running is also a spiritual experience.  As a Christian believer I believe it is my time to be alone with the Lord and allow Him to speak to me through the joys and toils of life.  I enjoy nature and the beauty of his creation but recently due to the cold weather I have also used inside running as a tool to reach out of to people and enjoy the journey even on a treadmill or track.  Inspirational music, energizing podcasts, listening to the Bible, and uplifting books on my Ipod enrich my life as growing individual inside and out.

 

Six Benefits of Running

http://www.active.com/health/articles/6-benefits-of-running

Six Ways Running Improves Your Health

http://www.runnersworld.com/health/6-ways-running-improves-your-health

Ten Reasons to Start Running

http://running.about.com/od/benefitsofrunning/tp/reasonstorun.html

Thirty Convincing Reasons to Start Running Now

http://greatist.com/fitness/30-convincing-reasons-start-running-now

Christina Chapan

Christina Lee Steele Chapan is a certified personal trainer with four certifications from ISSA ACE, AFAA and SCW. She specializes with fitness for children ( Fit 4 Fun!) and those adults and children with special needs. In addition to attaining her certifications, she is also a certified elementary and special education school teacher with a B.S. in Elementary Education, a minor in Biblical Studies from North Central University, an endorsement in Special Education, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Development from Governors State University. Her passion is for training the future of tomorrow. She is available for training, speaking and writing.

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