What do runners benefit from in their everyday lives?
It’s very easy to forget that running brings many things to the table. If I told you there was something you could do that lowered your heart rate, gave you a better night’s sleep, boosted your metabolism, and released stress, wouldn’t you do it? Running is just that. I’ve summarised the main benefits of running below:
- Lower resting heart rate (bradycardia) – as the heart becomes trained, the cardiac muscle can contract with more force, pushing more blood per beat around the body (your stroke volume). In other words, your heart can beat more powerfully and less often when trained.
- Capillarisation – tiny, cell-thick blood vessels called capillaries form during aerobic exercise. The best way is to go for a long, easy run at least once a week. It doesn’t have to feel difficult for you to benefit!
- Better nights (and days) – by running regularly, you make it easier for your body to sleep, through a mix of post-run endorphins and tiredness. The endorphins give you the so-called ‘runner’s high’, while the better night’s sleep leaves you feeling more refreshed in the mornings.
- Faster metabolism – the best way to increase your metabolism temporarily is through exercise. This means that your body uses more energy over a given length of time, allowing you to lose fat quickly. But exercise doesn’t just use calories while you are doing it; your metabolism remains elevated for a long period of time.
- Increased alertness – running makes you more alert and attentive in everyday life. The adrenalin and other hormones released give you the ability to focus better for the rest of the day. Running also gives you time to think things over and make decisions in other aspects of your life.
- Lower stress levels – running allows the release of controlled aggression, preventing stress from building up over time. It leaves you feeling relaxed and makes you feel good about yourself, letting you forget about any worries you may have.
Enjoy a low-stress and healthy life by taking up running!