The Health Benefits of Running and Jogging

Start line of a marathon

Fitness instructors recommend a few miles of running or jogging, as it is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to stay fit. Even for those who are into training with advanced equipment such as multi-gyms and rowing machines, running is considered as a good supplementary exercise.

Many individuals take up running or jogging, either because they are overweight or just want to lose some extra pounds. A majority of runners start running in order to manage their weight. In fact, running is considered to be one of the most effective strategies to win the battle of the bulge. With the exception of cross-country skiing, running exhausts more calories per minute than any other form of cardiovascular exercise.

Running can help bone structure

Another benefit is that it prevents muscle and bone loss and helps in slowing down the aging process. The skeletal frame of the human body is toughened by the demands placed upon them. When there is no physical activity, bones tend to grow weak. By running regularly, the skeletal framework gets the physical activity it requires to stay healthy. A high intensity exercise like running has also been proven to stimulate the human growth hormone, which allows runners to stay healthy, and keeps them looking young.

Running can help fight diseases

It has been proved that running also helps fight certain diseases. Apart from reducing the risk of stroke and breast cancer, running is recommended by doctors to patients who are in the early stages of osteoporosis, diabetes, and hypertension.

It also minimizes the risk of heart attacks by strengthening the heart and reducing blood pressure. It has been observed in runners that their arteries contract and expand roughly three times as much as normal. Other health benefits of running include raised HDL cholesterol, reduction of the risk of blood clots and increased use of lungs (50% of which is normally unused). It also helps improve the immunity system by creating a high concentration of white blood cells.

Mental health benefits of running

Apart from the many health benefits, there are also a few psychological and mental benefits associated with running. A few such benefits include confidence and character building, stress relief and strong attitude boosts. Research shows that running is a good way for many people to unwind from daily stress.

In fact, psychologists opine that a few speed runs is a good way to release anger and aggression. As running stimulates the release of endorphins that can cause euphoria, it has been used for several years to treat clinical depression and addiction.

Community benefits of running include social interaction and facilitation of a sense of competition. Marathons and races invite participation from several runners of different ages and encourage a spirit of healthy competition.

Marathon races are usually held for charity purposes and raise substantial funds for treating common diseases like blood cancer and breast cancer. Running clubs and organizations also serve as a platform to interact with people of similar ideas and make new friends. Some of these clubs also host online forums where people can meet others and share their experiences as a runner.

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