Friday, May 24, 2013

Health Benefits of Running {FabHealthFriday}

So, in the past, I wrote on the importance of getting enough exercise, and also, runners' highs.
Today, I wanted to expound on why exactly running is so beneficial as a means of exercise.
First of all. I know I'm not the only runner here...surely somebody reading this blog also likes to run, be it sprinting or long distance? (By the way, this post relates primarily to distance running just for clarification)
Running has become a very popular way to work out, especially in the last two decades. Really, I think it is the most efficient way to burn calories and maintain fitness and endurance. Not to mention, it's fun (for the most part anyways, haha!) and satisfying, with visible signs of progress along the way.
According to The Runners' Guide,
"There are a number of different benefits which an individual can gain from running on a regular basis. There are some runners who run simply for the joy of running but there are others who run because they realize there are a great deal of benefits which can be gained from rigorous such as running. Some of these benefits may include weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, improved bone health, improved mood and better coordination. 

Those who are looking to lose a few pounds often find running to be one of the most effective forms of exercise for helping them to achieve their ideal body weight. Running is an excellent form of exercise for losing weight because it requires a great deal of energy. This energy requirement means the body burns a large number of calories while running. The number of calories burned while running is typically significantly more than would be burned during less taxing forms of exercise such as walking or doing yoga. The simplest formula for weight loss includes burning off more calories than the individual consumes. When this type of calorie deficit is created, the body begins to shed excess weight in the form of fat. In order to lose one pound of body weight, the body must create a calorie deficit of 3500 calories. This is equal to burning 500 calories per day. Most runners can easily burn off this many calories in less than one hour of exercise. The number of calories burned while running depends on a number of factors including the individual’s weight, the intensity of the workout and the efficiency of the runner."
 Another of the health benefits of running is: much improved sleep. Millions of people suffer from insomnia, sleep apnea and various other sleep related problems and disorders. Several studies have been able to successfully link a positive relationship between running and getting a better nights sleep. (source)

As I wrote about in the my runners' highs post, another great benefit of running is the awesome chemicals which are released into your brain after a good-sized run. What are these chemicals? Endorphins, of course! And, in case you didn't know, they are the very thing which runners' highs come from.
So, not only does running help in assisting in physical health, but also with mental health, by causing you to feel more energetic, happier and overall, in a much better mood. When I run, most of the time I end up feeling like a superhero. Yes, endorphins are that epic.

Oh, and this little graphic above? It totally relates to me on days when I don't get a chance to run. I'm serious! Once you start running, you literally can't stop. And if you happen to miss a're miserable. Isn't that crazy?
One last benefit before I sign off - Running is said to slow the body's aging process.
"Running benefits your health by giving you strong bones and muscles, which means you'll be able to retain your youthful grace and your figure, and with that, your enthusiasm for life and continued endurance and stamina for many years to come." Taken from Health Stories.
This is just a vague covering of the many great things about running. Hopefully, however, it will spur you to either a., preferably start running, so you can experience the awesomeness of it yourself! Or, b., research it further, to gain more knowledge on your own.
I hope this post was beneficial to you and that you learned something new!
Have a blessed day!
Soli Deo Gloria,


  1. Just in the past year I've gotten into running. I'm still building up my stamina to survive a longer run, but that is my goal. :)

    I didn't know about the endorphins. That's pretty neat. Thanks for the post, Leah!

    1. Great! And I'm glad you learned something new!