We all know that running is a serious calorie blaster, but did you know that hitting the path also improves your life and body in other, equally beneficial ways, as well? If having a killer figure isn’t enough to motivate you to start running, check out these additional running benefits that might inspire you to get your butt on the jogging path asap. Your libido, mood and brain will thank you if you start running today!
1. Running Clears Your Head and Can Assist You In Problem Solving
If you’re experiencing a mental fog or if you need to solve a work or personal problem, taking a short jog can be beneficial. Not only has the activity been shown to boost cognitive function, it’s the perfect “me” time to sort out your thoughts and perhaps find a new perspective on what’s troubling you.
2. Jogging Prolongs Your Life
Several studies have shown that people who frequently run tend to live longer than those who don’t include running into their routine. This is due to many factors, including runners generally have stronger bodies (meaning fewer age-related injuries) and they have happier, more positive outlooks on life.
3. Running Can Prevent Memory Loss
Running is a great way to keep your brain functioning properly and your memory up to speed. Not only has jogging been shown to decrease the symptoms of dementia, it may also ward off Alzheimer’s Disease, which is definitely something to keep in mind (pun intended) when considering whether or not to run.
4. Running Makes You Happier
All it takes to keep a smile on your face is a few laps, according to some doctors. The reason: running boosts the “feel good” hormone levels in your brain so you're better able to keep a positive attitude toward yourself and life in general. Bonus: A boost in happiness is a health benefit you'll experience immediately if you start to run now.
5. It’s Always Available
Unlike gyms that have closing times, running is basically available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No matter where you are or what time it is, you can bet that you’ll be able to go running. What’s more, it’s a great way to explore new neighborhoods in your town and completely new cities altogether when you’re on vacation.
6. Running Is Quality “Me” Time
Take a break from your emails, your Twitter, your Facebook, your Instagram, work phone calls and the kids. Hitting the jogging path gives you time to focus on you and you alone, which is pretty priceless in today’s always-connected world.
7. You Can Meet Others While Running
While running can give you satisfying solo time, it’s also an activity you can do with others. Better yet, you can actually meet new people while running ... Perhaps that Prince or Princess Charming you’ve been dreaming of? Check out some local running groups or websites like meetup.com to find other health-minded friends. Hey, it beats the bar!
8. Jogging Is A Stress Buster
Physical activity of any kind can kick stress to the curb, but running in particular is a great way to work out all your negative feelings, chill out and find your inner calm.
9. It’s a Serious Calorie Burner
As we already mentioned, running is a great way to burn fat and calories and get your body in killer shape. A 160-pound person burns an average of 850 calories per hour while running.
10. Running Improves Your Sex Life
Not only does running make you feel sexier and more confident (which automatically makes sex WAY hotter for both you and your partner), it also boosts your libido, keeps you flexible and gives your endurance a boost so you can last longer between the sheets. Score!
11. Jogging Helps You Sleep Better
Running naturally allows you to get better quality sleep, but what it also does is influence you to set healthy sleep patterns so you keep performing well. All in all, it’s a win/win situation that will give you renewed vitality.
12. Running Keeps Your Immune System High
Running aids circulation, which helps keep your immune system in good working order — meaning fewer sicknesses like colds and flus. In addition, early research is showing that people who are physically active may have lower susceptibility to diseases in general.
13. Running Is Great for Your Abs
Whether you feel it or not, running actually is a great workout for your core area and can lead to a slim mid-section. That in turn strengthens limbs and improves your posture.
14. Jogging Is Basically Free
You don’t need any fancy equipment or expensive gym memberships to run. All you need is the desire to do it and a pair of great running shoes.
15. It Wards Off Cancer, Builds Bones and Reduces Blood Pressure
Running is a natural medicine. It has been shown to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in women and colon cancer in men. It also can significantly lower your blood pressure in just a couple of weeks. But that’s not all: Running has been shown to build the muscle that surrounds your bones, which keeps them healthy and protected as you age.
16. Jogging Can Help Others
Running is great for you, but it’s also a sport that provides many opportunities to help others, as well. There are countless charity and celebrity runs and marathons that raise research and benefit money for all kinds of issues facing the world today, from hurricane relief to breast cancer.
17. Running Is Easy to Learn
Unlike some complicated exercise routines and sports, running is extremely simple to learn. In fact, beginners probably already know how to do it, save for knowing how to properly stretch before and after your jog.
18. Running Is Another Form of “Transportation”
No need to deal with annoying traffic and parking if you’re a runner. Instead of driving to meet friends or pick something up from the pharmacy, literally RUN your errands. It’s a perfect way to sneak some fitness into an extremely busy schedule.
19. Jogging Gives You a Natural Glow
Workouts make you sweat, which helps clear out your pores and gives you a soft, healthy, natural glow. Just be sure to gently cleanse your face pre and post running to avoid breakouts.
20. Running Boosts Your Self-Esteem
There’s the obvious fact that running improves your body, which can improve the way you feel about yourself. But there’s also a surprising way running can boost your self-esteem: It gets you frequently outside, which has been proven to give you an increased sense of well-being and happiness.
As you can see, there are many, many health benefits to running, and starting to run now is a decision that will improve both your body and your overall quality of life. So stop thinking about it and take Nike’s advice: Just do it!