Run Girl Run

Starting a running program is far from simple.

Running has never failed in leave me feeling anything but amazing! Most people will generally fall into one of two categories: you either love it or you hate it; and then sometimes it’s even a love/hate relationship i.e. it’s painful, tedious, and exhausting but leaves you with an awesome feeling of achievement, self-satisfaction and energy. So what makes people love it? What makes people who hate it keep doing it? Why do people feel so invigorated after they’ve literally flogged themselves?

One of the greatest benefits of a runner’s lifestyle is that it strongly contributes to overall health in so many ways. It can be a way to meet people, compete with others, compete with yourself and even to step into the great outdoors. The fact is, running has a lot of benefits. And here’s a list of some of the best.

1. Weight loss:

Most people start running in order to win the battle of the bulge. Running is one of the top activities for burning fat. In fact, with the exception of cross country skiing, running burns more calories per minute than any other form of cardiovascular exercise. Approximately 60 per cent of runners start running to either loose or manage their weight.

2. Maintain and improve general health.

Running is one of the best activities most people can do to improve their health. It raises HDL (or “good”) cholesterol, reduces the risk of blood clots, and encourages use of the 50 per cent of your lungs that usually go unused. Running also boost the immune system by creating a higher concentration of lymphocytes (white blood cells that attack disease).

3. Prevent muscle and bone loss.

Our bones are made to accommodate the demands placed upon them. By sitting in front of the monitor all day many of us allow our bones to grow weaker, but by running regularly our skeleton gets the demand it needs to stay healthy. In addition to keeping our insides from aging quickly, regular, high-intensity exercise, like running, has also been proven to promote the human growth hormone, which celebrities have taken injections of for years to keep them looking young.

4. Stress relief.

Either by allowing you the time to think about life’s problems or time to escape them for a while, tension easily flies by the wayside as you fly over the K’s. Distance runs are great for solving headaches and problems that are nagging at you. Speed runs are great for tearing through aggression and anger. Focus all that emotion into a few sprints and you’ll feel better in no time.

5. The famous “Runner’s high.”

Running has also been proven to improve attitude. Running, especially outside and on trails, creates a release of endorphins that can cause euphoria (runner’s high) or just a general sense of happiness. Running has been used for years to treat clinical depression and addictions of all kinds. Less tension, less depression, less fatigue, and less confusion are just a few of the changes that patients have seen after beginning a regular running program. Running gives something for them to focus on, allowing them to see something besides their depressed state or addiction.

6. Fight disease.

Running reduces the risk of stroke and breast cancer. Regular running has become a treatment option for doctors to prescribe to patients who are at a high risk, or early stages, of osteoporosis, diabetes, and hypertension. It reduces the risk of heart attacks, by strengthening the heart and lowering blood pressure. Running maintains the elasticity of arteries incredibly well because as you run your arteries expand and contract nearly three times as much as usual.

7. Get confident.

Jogging builds confidence and self-esteem like few other individual sports can. It allows the runner to defeat trial after trial, growing stronger and surer of themselves with each foot strike. It provides a feeling of empowerment and freedom that comes with knowing that your legs and body are strong and capable.

8. Train your mind.

Running can help train the mind as much as it trains the body. By making yourself overcome the obstacles that running brings, you learn focus and determination.

9. Improve coordination.

There is some coordination involved in running. Trail running especially requires a great deal of coordination. Runners, who regularly run on these types of surfaces, quickly learn to maintain better control over their bodies to prevent tripping and stumbling while running.

10. Versatility.

Not many sports can be done almost anywhere with almost no gear, we just need a good pair of running shoes and off we go.
r than most people believe. However,  it’s advisable to make an appointment with your doctor to be sure you are healthy and ready to start. Then, find a good pair of running shoes, get off the couch and… go!