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7 Surprising Health Benefits of Running and 1 Crucial Tip to Help Prevent Injury

Running, jogging, and cardiovascular exercise is good for your heart. Most people are aware of this. But, there are additional benefits to getting your blood pumping.

Going for a run can be a revitalizing pastime. It helps burn calories, strengthen key muscle groups, and improves your endurance.

Whether you’re looking for additional motivation to keep running or you’re looking for a new workout, discover the advantages of running. Find out why this is one of the best physical activities to include in your daily routine.

Here are 7 surprising health benefits of running and 1 crucial tip to help prevent common running injuries.

#1 – Running Can Improve Your Mood

Running can help improve your mood and make you happier. This is due to the release of hormones called endocannabinoids.

Studies show that you only need to exercise for about 30 minutes before this hormone starts to uplift your spirits. So, if you’re in a bad mood or simply want to feel better, you should go for a run.

This is also a great stress relief tool. You exert energy and can even reduce your risk of developing tension headaches.

#2 – Running Can Boost Your Confidence

This next benefit may surprise you – running can boost your confidence. This is achieved in several ways.

First, running can help you get in better shape. As you lose weight, your self-esteem will improve. You’ll feel better and look better, which will naturally improve your confidence.

Running also requires you to set and achieve goals. When you reach these goals, you will feel better about your ability to accomplish tasks. You’ll be empowered to stick to your workout and continue running each day.

#3 – Running Can Help You Succeed in Life

Training your brain to stick to your goals and follow through with your plans is something that can help you with every aspect of your life. You are more likely to succeed in your career when you can meet your goals.

#4 – Running Can Help You Get Better Sleep

If you struggle with insomnia or poor sleep, then you should start running. When you run, you get a boost of endorphins. When these endorphins are used, you will naturally feel more relaxed and ready for a good night’s rest.

On top of the physical changes, running can help you deal with stress and anxiety, which may be interfering with your sleep patterns.

#5 – Running Can Improve Your Joints

Some people believe that running is bad for your joints. This stems from the fact that knee and ankle injuries are more common with runners. But, the process of running is not a direct threat to the health of your joints.

In fact, you may even improve the health of your joints. Improving the strength and flexibility of the muscles in your legs can limit your chances of experiencing joint pain. And, increasing your stability can help put less strain on your individual joints.

#6 – Running Can Improve Your Immune System

Running can keep you from getting sick. It boosts your immune system. When you run, you clear your lungs of airborne bacteria. This can stop the growth and spread of germs through your body, limiting your chances of catching a cold or the flu.

By clearing bacteria from your lungs, you can also improve blood circulation. This circulates protective cells through your body, further improving your immune system. Though, studies also show that overtraining can have the opposite effect. So, don’t push yourself too hard.

#7 – Running Can Reduce the Signs of Aging

This last benefit is great for anyone that is looking for an excuse to start running. By losing weight, improving your strength, and boosting your endurance, you will naturally combat the signs of aging. You are less likely to suffer from bad posture, poor blood circulation, and a reduction in lung capacity.

Perform Dynamic Stretches Before You Run and Static Stretches Afterward

The debate about whether or not you should warm up before exercise continues. But, it is known that warming up your muscles can make them more flexible and pliable. You are less likely to injure yourself when your muscles are warmed up.

If you want to limit the chances of getting injured during your run, you should perform dynamic stretches before the run. You also perform static stretches after your run.

Dynamic stretches are stretches that require a fluid motion. For example, squats, lunges, and kicks are all dynamic movements. Static stretches are stretches that require you to stretch a muscle and hold a pose.

The dynamic stretches loosen and warm your muscles, preparing you for physical activity. The static stretches help you slowly bring your heart rate down, reducing the risk of muscle soreness.

Running can be incredibly beneficial for your health. Though, many of these same benefits can be achieved by using other forms of cardiovascular exercise. So, if you don’t enjoy running, you could look for a different exercise to perform. Other options that provide similar benefits include:

  • Swimming
  • Jogging or walking
  • Cycling
  • Spin classes

Cardio provides a wide range of health advantages. You can improve your mood, lose weight, and may even be able to combat the signs of aging. And, these are just a few of the reasons to start running.

The general recommendation is that you should include 30-minutes of cardiovascular exercise in your daily routine. Though, this may not be enough.

A growing number of doctors are recommending that you get closer to 60-minutes of cardiovascular exercise each day. This can be difficult for some people to work into their schedules.

Don’t let this deter you from running or performing cardio. Even 10 minutes of exercise is better than nothing. If you can commit to 10 minutes of exercise, then go for it.

Every couple of weeks, try to increase your workout by 5 or 10 minutes. Within a few months, you could be getting the recommended 30 to 60-minutes of cardio and begin to enjoy some of the health benefits of running.

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