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What Does Running Do for You

By Elma B.

What Does Running Do for You?

Sure, we have all seen countless of joggers every morning, sometimes during the evenings,  or on Sundays. Most people have gone jogging themselves in their neighborhood, their local gym or in their favorite park. So, why do we do it? What exactly does running do for you?

Note: To loose weight and become lean, running is not the only answer; you must balance it with an appropriate diet. Most importantly, please note that this is not medical advice just some guidance after my own preliminary research.*

Here are 7 answers...

1.  Loose weight.

Running allows a person to burn an average of 100 calories per each mile. In contract, biking and walking only burn a fraction of those calories in the same amount of time. Thus, for instance, running five miles a day can burn an additional 500 calories. 

2. Running is Cheap 

No gym membership is required; no monthly fees. All a person needs is a pair of sneakers, and a good attitude. 

3. How Fast You Go Does Not Matter...

The amount of calories one burns while running dependents on a person's weight, e.g. a 220 pound person will burn almost twice as many calories when running as a 120 pound person.  In another words, if a person is overweight, running will help that person quickly shed weight. Persisent runners willl reach an plateau; hence, running will help them keep in shape. 

4. Health Benefits from Running

Firstly, running helps lower blood pressure. In fact, many serious runners have low blood pressure.  Additionally, running helps to keep lungs strong and powerful. The 50% of normally unused lung potential becomes used by the runner. Smokers may recover full lung potential via running. Thirdly, running helps to prevent hart attacks.  Fourthly, runners experience intense exhilaration and happiness after the run, which comes from a beta-endorphin release trigged by the neurons in the nervous system. Finally, running improves sleep, eating and relaxation.  

5. Diet Conscious Because of Running 

Most runners try to maintain a balanced diet that is low in fat. Note that carbohydrates are very improtant for runners in order to produce energy. In another words, Carbohydates should make up 60% of food intake among runners. Foods that contain complex carbohydates, e.g. pastas and potatos, are the key. A sufficient amount of fluids is a key to flush out metabolic waste and enhance your performance and experience as a runner. In fact, insufficient fluids prevent one's ability from sweating, and runners need to sweat. 

6. Psychological Benefits From Running

Running has often been used to treat clinical depression and other psychological illnesses. Running lessens tension, fatigue and keeps a person mentally alert.  Moreover, running has been used to treat addictions to drugs and alcohol. 

7. Physical Benefits from Running

Running has been successfully used to treat patients with heart disease to rebuild strength. Overall, running helps strengthen the heart significantly. 

For recreational and competitive runners, running has turned from a dreaded torture to a joyride, where you have a chance to unplug, listen to your favorite music and perhaps see new places (e.g., when traveling or simply your neighborhood). Personally,  I have been running since I was 12 years old. I have made breaks, and whenever I have done so psychologically and physically I do not feel the same. On a psychological level, I feel that there is so much energy that needs to be released, i.e. running has become a sort of a catharsis where I release my stress. On a physical level, my body is not as strong and lean. Thus, I have decided to continue with running--to keep healthy, young and happy.  Below, you will find some inspirational running quotes. Until next time...

Running motivation:
supermodels Miranda Kerr (left) and Heidi Klum (right)

*Please make sure to read Elizabeth M. Sadler's wonderful article on the benefits of running here

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