Yesterday’s blog was just a warm-up. Now you know what gear is needed, it’s time to schedule some training into your fitness routine. The sooner you start, the sooner your body and mind will benefit from the powers of running.
"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." While Confucius may not have been a runner, his wisdom applies to the practice of it. A 2013 study shows that even five to 10 minutes a day of slower-paced running (or jogging) is enough to add years to your life. Running has numerous health benefits that not only make you look better, but feel better too.
Running is like the superfood of exercise. Even a moderate running routine will:
- Increase lung capacity
- Lower or prevent high blood pressure
- Make your immune system stronger
- Build bone density and strengthen joints
- Relieve stress
- Improve sleep quality
- Clear up skin
- Reduce the risk of certain cancers
For most runners, it’s more about how running makes them feel than it is to stay in shape. "Runner’s high" is a very real thing, and the hormones that are released while running give a boost to confidence and can reduce or eliminate depression. In addition, when you run, you reduce stress. Not to mention, it can lessen or get rid of common stress-related health issues, like "bad belly fat" and tension headaches, which also contributes to better health and a longer life.
While it’s recommended to get at least 150 minutes a week of aerobic exercise, every little bit helps. As little as 50 minutes of aerobic activity is enough to have a positive impact. Studies show that the "sweet spot" for reaping the maximum level of benefits is 2.5 hours of running per week. Have you tried running and it just isn’t for you? Walking, cycling, and even the elliptical machine, if done regularly, will improve health and longevity.
As with all things, moderation is key, especially when beginning a new diet or workout plan. The benefits of running are numerous, but make sure to have the right gear and the right information before you begin. Speaking to your physician and working with your chiropractor to promote your new (or ongoing) fitness plan is sure to boost its success.