20 Scientifically-Proven Reasons Running Improves Your Overall Health
Your coach warned you. Your mum did, too. Perhaps you attained enlightenment when your health went south. But if you still need convincing that running equates to good health, we consulted the scientific community to make our case to you!
Back in 2013, we published an article called, "Top Excuses Not to Run and How to Overcome Them". If the editorial in Sheryl's finely-crafted piece doesn't inspire you, can we add some incentive? We want to prove to you why you need to get up and off that couch if you don't want your body and health to go the way of the sloth.
We don't have to tell you that coming up with excuses to skip that scheduled run, gym session or exercise class has become a world-class sport with some pretty comical results. The dog ate my running shoes. I can't ruin my pedicure. It's my third cousin's birthday and she expects me to show up. Blah, blah, blah.
Time to stop whining. None of these excuses hold water-as long as you tailor your running and exercising to your unique circumstance. But if you need motivation, how about 20 scientific facts that don't just urge you to get off the couch but show you how much your life can be improved and enhanced simply by getting off your butt and doing what you know to be right: working your body to show it some love.
Why exercise? Because science says so
Lots of people run because they get a high that can't be duplicated-even when compared to good sex. Others run for social reasons: They have come to depend upon their mates for support, entertainment and companionship along a route that might best be described as boring.
There's a class of runners in Singapore who discovered the sport as a result of medical intervention: they dodged a health bullet or were told by their doctors to move it or lose it and rather than throwing themselves a pity party, they joined the nation's running scene.
But we've brought out the big guns to convince you that if you're already running, you've got to keep at it and if you haven't adopted this lifesaving exercise, you'll definitely want to after you read the 20 irrefutable, scientifically-proven benefits you receive from the moment you land that first footfall on a track, trail or pavement. If these don't convince you to stay on the straight and narrow, nothing will!
You trust science, right? Then don't stop reading…
- Fact #1: Know all of that stress you carry around? Vanquish it by running and exercising regularly.
- Fact #2: Exercise and running pump up sexual arousal, even in women who take antidepressants.
- Fact #3: Fight off osteoporosis by engaging in weight training in addition to running to beef up those bones.
- Fact #4: Mediate depression and anxiety by pushing your physical limits on a regular basis, both by doing conditioning runs and participating in marathons.
- Fact #5: Dump fat faster: discover the short cardio bursts that are the secret to slimming down faster by adjusting your running pace.
- Fact #6: Lower your risk for heart disease by adopting low-impact moves like Yoga in association with regular jogging.
- Fact #7: Manage and possibly vanquish your Type 2 diabetes diagnosis via regular exercise like running.
- Fact #8: Exercise lowers bad cholesterol and pumps up good cholesterol; you could even get off the meds your doctor prescribes by hitting the trail routinely.
- Fact #9: Got asthma? Exercise like running helps reduce inflammation in your airways that trigger asthma attacks.
- Fact #10: Improve your balance and coordination to avoid falls and injuries by exercising and running.
- Fact #11: Running outdoors exposes you to healing Vitamin D—even when the sun's hidden behind clouds.
- Fact #12: Run to boost your weight loss program in concert with calorie cutting for better results.
- Fact #13: Want to live longer? Scientists say that longevity is solidly connected to all forms of exercise.
- Fact #14: Exercise boosts the immune system, so you can race past the germs everyone else is spreading.
- Fact #15: Run to enhance your self-esteem and double your confidence in yourself.
- Fact #16: Did you know that runners are happier than non-runners, according to the scientific community?
- Fact #17: Running does more to combat workplace stress than booze, so replace bar time with run time.
- Fact #18: When you run, you kick-start your brain, so your memory stays sharper, even as you age.
- Fact #19: Pair running with proper eating and your chances of being diagnosed with cancer drop.
- Fact #20: Sleep like a baby. A baby who's got her running shoes tucked under her bed, that is!
Have you discovered another advantage to running that has been proven by science, but it didn't make our list? Enlighten us—please!