Sometimes life throws us off our routines or our training schedules just get boring. Luckily, running has so many incredible health benefits to keep you motivated!
Here are seven inspiring running benefits to get you moving!
Running Helps Protect your Vision
While age-related vision loss has become quite common, regular physical exercise can help protect our eyes as we age. A recent Emory University Eye Center study suggests that “Moderate aerobic exercise helps to preserve the structure and function of nerve cells in the retina.” Other studies indicate that long-distance running may even help reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Compared to other potential treatments, regularly lacing up your running shoes and hitting the road is a cheap, easy, and safe way to protect your vision.
Running is a Natural Sleep Aid
Are you having trouble sleeping lately? Try some mileage! Regular exercise is known to reduce sleep complaints and insomnia. Studies suggest that engaging in at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise can make a difference in your sleep quality that night. The John Hopkins Center for Sleep says, “The effects of aerobic exercise on sleep appear to be similar to those of sleeping pills.”
Running Keeps your Mind Sharp
Running doesn’t only tone your calves. It also strengthens your brain! Regular cardiovascular exercise has been shown to increase the volume of your hippocampus — the part of the brain associated with memory and learning. According to Dr. David Lindon at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Voluntary exercise is the single best thing one can do to slow the cognitive decline that accompanies normal aging.”
Running Supports Strong Bones
You heard that right! Studies show that while high-impact exercises like running stress the body, this stress stimulates bone-building hormones. When your bones experience this stress, your body responds by making more bone cells and laying down more minerals in your bone structure. The result: stronger, more resilient bones that are less likely to fracture.
Running Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Getting out onto your favorite trail and putting down some mileage is a great way to relieve the stress and tension in your body. Not only can running produce a desirable endorphin rush, but it also lowers your cortisol levels, helping you feel more relaxed. But that’s not all! According to Dr. David Lindon at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, running also increases the endocannabinoids in your bloodstream, producing reduced anxiety and feelings of calm. Talk about a Runner’s High!
Running Boosts Your Confidence
The benefits of running are not limited to the body. Running helps you learn to set goals and reach milestones that you didn’t think were possible. This experience teaches you the important lesson that your ability is something you can change. You have the power to improve yourself. This self-confidence is the foundation of a healthy growth mindset that will serve you well in every aspect of life.
Running Adds Years to Your Life
With all the incredible physical and mental health benefits of running, it’s no surprise that running increases your longevity. In fact, a recent study shows that runners have a 25%-40% reduced risk of premature death and live approximately three years longer than non-runners! Thanks to improved cardiovascular health, better insulin control, lower cholesterol, stronger bones, better hormone regulation, and positive brain functioning, running adds years to your life and life to your years!
So what are you waiting for?!
Lace up, and let’s get some mileage!