Benefits if going for a run
One of the most popular forms of cardio next to walking is running. There are different forms of running you can do like jogging or sprinting depending on your fitness level. In the UK approximately 6.8 million people go for runs several times a month and there are many benefits to engaging in this sport and form of exercise. If you are into running or are thinking about starting it as a form of cardio then this article is going to be of some interest as we are going to be sharing the benefits of running and why its something you should include in your training regime.
When it comes to running there are different approaches you can take to do the activity. If you prefer to train indoors then you can use a tread mill or run on the spot indoors. If you are more sociable then you can go running with some friends or join a club. However, you do the sport there are always benefits that can be experienced from running and these are physical and mental.
The main reason people often start running is because it helps burn fat and calories. The more calories you burn the less will be stored on your body as fat, this prevents you from gaining weight making running a good form of weight management. The calories you burn heavily depends on the type of running you are doing. Long runs that are low intensity help you burn fat over time and can help your endurance and weight management. High intensity cardio increases your after-burn effect, meaning that you burn more calories after, and exercise is complete.
Although much of the war against belly fat is done in the kitchen, doing that little bit of cardio can make things a lot easier. This helps your body burn excess calories and prevents it being turned into fat. Running alone will not cause the belly fat to fly off you and some changes to your diet will have to happen. The most effective form of cardio for weight loss is high intensity interval training (HIIT), this involves a high intensity period followed by a low intensity period. A running HIIT workout will look something like 20 seconds or sprinting followed by 30 seconds of jogging
Another benefit of running is that your quality of sleep can be improved. This is especially important for athletes and other sporting people as sleep is required to help the body rebuild and maintain itself. This is due to running causing your internal body temperature to be increased. The drop in temperature after the exercise has been observed to promote sleep and can reduce stress. The reduced stress also makes it easier to get to sleep and can improve the quality of your sleep. Although running can promote sleep, the timing of the activity can cause sleeplessness. Exercise releases endorphins that can cause your brain to be stimulated for hours after the exercise is complete. This is why it’s not a good idea to go for a run before bed as this can be preventing you from getting to sleep.
With improved sleep there comes many other benefits. Getting better sleep can be crucial for maintaining and improving mental health as sleep gives your body time to ready itself for the next day and this is the time where your cells can repair themselves. This improves recovery which can also improve your physical performance, making you a better athlete. So if you are having trouble sleeping then going for a run can help you get to sleep and can improve the quality of your sleep.
Improved cardiovascular health
Runners often have healthier hearts and an overall healthier cardiovascular system. This is due to your heart rate being raised which basically exercises the muscle and makes it more efficient at pumping blood around your body. Increasing your heart rate by running also makes more oxygen and vital nutrients to be pushed around your body, this means your cells are benefitting as they are getting the nutrients they need. Just 20 minutes of running a few times a week can really do some good for your heart health.
Although very good for your health not all runners are exempt from cardiovascular disease. There are many other lifestyle changes you can make to also benefit you like changing your diet and cutting out saturated fats. More cardio will increase the volume of blood you can push around your body per beat, making your heart more efficient and increasing its life.
Better mental health
Going for a run has many health benefits, theses being physical and mental. Your mental health is very important and this can effect how you feel and your performance in activities. Going for a run has been observed to decrease the chance of someone developing a serious mental disorder like depression. Running can also relieve anxiety as it gives you a chance to get out the house and maybe meet new people. Going for a run can also relieve stress and can be something that is not only improving your physical health but metal health as well. Stress is something that everyone experiences and can make you feel down.
Going for a run can also help your brain heal from substance abuse and can improve memory. A study was done in 2012 that found that running can help your brain recover from meth abuse, this drug causes your brain to produce less dopamine and serotonin and burns out their receptors. Running helps regulate these neurotransmitters and can increase their productivity. Running also decreases the desire to do substances and drink alcohol. This also applies to junk food and many other things as going for a run decreases your desire for many substances that are known to be addictive.
There are also many mental health benefits associated with getting more sleep that is a result of running. Getting better and more sleep can decrease your risks of being depressed and can prevent other disorders like psychosis and anxiety.
Overall, going for a run is something that can benefit you in many ways not only physically but mentally as well. There are many different variations of running you can do and at different intensities. For example, if you like high intensity training try HIIT or sprinting, but if you prefer lower intensities then try going for a nice brisk jog. This activity is something everyone can do, and anyone can reap the benefits. So if you are one of those that only hits the wights and doesn’t think about cardio then maybe running is something you should thing about doing as it is a basic form of cardio that is easy for everyone to do. Little equipment is needed to go on a run making it widely accessible to everyone.