There is no doubt that you will have seen people running as you go about your daily life. You might even know someone who loves to run and get outside in the fresh air. If you’ve ever wondered why they do it, or if you’ve ever considered running yourself and you want to know more about it, here are just some of the great reasons why you should take it up, and why running is so good for you.
It’s Good For Your Health
Of course, one of the major benefits – perhaps the most important of all – is that running is good for your health. It has been shown to increase your heart function, reducing the risk of heart disease, for example. It also lowers your blood pressure so that it is more healthy for you. You’ll feel so much better for it, and a lot more relaxed despite the fact that you are engaging in a demanding physical activity.
Running can even be good for your joints and, in particular, your knees. Although you may have heard that running can have a detrimental effect on your knees, this is not actually the case, and there is a scientific fact to back this up. Running doesn’t harm your knees but instead helps to build up bone mass, strengthening them. Of course, if you do have a knee injury that is serious, it’s best not to run for a little while so as not to cause yourself more pain. If it is a minor injury, you can use compression socks running which will help you.
It Makes You Happy
The phenomenon known as ‘runner’s high’ is a real, scientifically backed feeling that comes from a rush of hormones flooding your body as you run. Scientists have shown that the brain reacts in the same way to running (or even briskly walking) as it does to taking addictive, illegal drugs, but of course, running doesn’t come with the same risks as these drugs do and therefore is a much better option.
This is one way that running makes you happy, but there are others. When you can see the progress you are making, and know that you are now able to run much farther than you were when you started, you will feel good about yourself and your abilities, and you will want to continue which will improve your stats even more. Plus, if you pick the right place to run, you can see some beautiful places and enjoy the scenery and perhaps even the memories that go with it if you are running through a familiar route. All of this will certainly make you smile and feel good.
When you are suffering from depression, there is no better way to combat it than to seek professional medical advice. Once you have done this, you will be armed with much more information, and your doctor will be able to help you find ways to help to lift your mood. You may not be able to ‘cure’ your depression (not overnight at least), but if you can improve how you feel, this will certainly help.
Running is one of the options that you and your doctor might choose to explore because studies have shown that physical activity has a great positive effect on the symptoms of depression. It could partly be down to the hormones and runner’s high that we mentioned above, but it could also be because when you are running, you don’t have to think about anything else. There is nothing but you and the road, the field, the track, or the treadmill. Giving your brain a chance to stop thinking about all the worries that normally assail you throughout the day will help you to feel more relaxed.
It’s Good For Your Brain
If you want to be brainier, studies have shown that running might be the way to do it. Of course, you’ll need to read and study as well, but running can increase your capacity for learning, making retaining information and understanding it to begin with a lot easier. This is because when you run, you activate the neuron reserves that sit in the brain. In fact, running doesn’t just activate them; it enhances them too. These neurons are what make us able to learn, and the more active they are, the more intelligent we can be. Although these reserves are activated by all kinds of physical activity, running is what gives them the biggest boost.
Memory is massively important in life. It can change our mood for the better when we remember good things that have happened to us in the past for example, but it also means that we can learn from the past and improve our lives in the future. Sometimes our memory can fail us; we’ve all had moments when our minds ‘go blank’ and we just can’t remember what we were saying, for example, and we’ve all forgotten where we have put important items.
Running can help with these issues, as it has been shown to improve memory. Regular aerobic exercise that really increases the heart rate and produces sweat (exactly as running does) is ideal for helping with memory problems because it increases the size of the part of the brain responsible for memory: the hippocampus.
If you have problems with staying focused and being able to concentrate either at home or at work because your mind is constantly wandering and you can’t seem to quieten it down, try running. When you are running, you can focus completely on the task at hand. This makes the run itself easier (just think about putting one foot in the front of the other and nothing else), but it also means that you can bring that focus into other areas of your life. You’ll be more productive during your day, no matter what you are doing, if you can bring your running training with you, and this will make you more successful too.