Running And Its Effects On Health

by David Zerbs

There are a number of different benefits that an individual can get from running on a regular basis. There are some runners who simply do it for the pleasure of running. But others run because they realize that there are a lot of benefits to be derived from rigorous exercise. Some of these benefits may include weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, improved bone health, improved mood, and better coordination. This article briefly describes how running can lead to each of these benefits.

Those who are looking to lose a few pounds will find running to be one of the most effective forms of exercise to help you reach your ideal weight. Running is an excellent form of exercise for weight loss because it requires a lot of energy. This power requirement means that the body burns a lot of calories during the run. The number of calories burned while running is usually much more than you burn during less taxing forms of exercise, such as walking or yoga. The simplest formula for losing weight involves burning more calories an individual consumes. When this kind of calorie deficit is created, the body begins to shed excess weight as fat. To lose one pound of body weight, the body must create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories. This is equal to burning 500 calories per day. Most runners can burn this many calories in less than an hour of exercise. The number of calories burned while running depends on a number of factors, including the weight of the individual, the intensity of training, and performance of the exercise.

Cardiovascular Health

Improving cardiovascular health is another benefit achieved from regular physical exercise. Some of the other benefits of running include reducing blood pressure in arteries which helps maintain their elasticity. When running, the arteries expand and contract approximately three times what they do when you are sedentary. This means you are working not only to improve your physical appearance but also your body’s overall function. In doing so, the risk of heart attack and stroke is decreased.

Running Slows The Aging Process

Running is also beneficial in slowing the aging process. Those who run regularly are less likely to develop bone and muscle loss as they age. Bones grow and become stronger to meet the physical demands. Those who have a less physical lifestyle do not put this demand on their bones which can result in weakened bones. When this happens the person will become susceptible to osteoporosis as they age. By contrast, those who run continuously on a regular basis and tax their muscles and bones will stay strong and not easily diminish with age.

Psychological Benefits Of Running

Running can also have many psychological benefits. Most runners tend to report significantly happier lives and feel less stressed than their counterparts who do not run or exercise regularly. Running actually has the ability to alter mood, because our hormones, called endorphins are released during the exercise. These hormones create a feeling of euphoria often referred to as a runner’s high and may result in an improvement in mood. Running has also been reported to relieve stress in most runners. There are a number of factors which may contribute to stress reduction. One of the most obvious reasons is the act of running allows the person to focus on the task at hand instead of being worried or stressed by work, family, or other stressors encountered throughout their daily lives. Also, running can be very challenging, and the run can result in the individual feeling a sense of accomplishment for completing the run. This shifts the focus of their attention from negative stress factors, to a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Running Improves Coordination

Improved coordination is another worthwhile benefit that can be gained with the addition of running to your daily activities. This may seem surprising to many who assume it is not possible to obtain such benefits from a simple activity like running. However, there is some degree of coordination involved in the operation. Trail running can increase coordination, because running on unpaved trails develops better footwork, balance, and coordination in general. The irregular surface combined with obstacles such as rocks and tree roots can make trail running very difficult. However, runners who usually run in this type of trail, quickly learn to maintain better motor control to avoid pitfalls and obstacles during the run. Even running on a flat surface that is prepared can also result in better coordination, because it forces the body to work together to keep the runner upright and facing in the right direction.


I'm a fitness enthusiast from New York. I have been writing reviews of fitness and diet programs for over two years. If you have questions about anything I have reviewed, don't hesitate to shoot me an email.

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