Fitness Benefits of Running

Fitness Benefits of Running

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    Running is a great way to reach your fitness goals. It also promotes a healthy lifestyle. It’s an exercise you can do alone or with friends. Though it is controversial whether running is harmful to the knees and other joints many people run well into their sixty’s and some into their seventy’s. The difference between walking and running is, while running there is a moment where both feet are off the ground. While walking there is constant contact with the ground.  One of the great things about running is you can do it anywhere with minimal equipment. All you need is shoes if you are a shod runner. You can also run barefoot, however this requires a change in running style if you are a heel striker. 


    Try treadmill running.


    There are pros and cons to running on a treadmill. Treadmill running is less impact if you are a heel striker. You can also control the speed and incline of your exercise on a treadmill. The treadmill forces you to maintain a constant speed which is great for burning calories. The drawbacks are the possible boredom you face from the lack of scenery. If you are a fan of the outdoors this can be tough. 


    Get your outdoor fix.


    Outdoor running is a great workout for the simple fact that if you run so far in one direction, you have to come back. If you lack willpower, the goal of getting back to where you started is a great motivator. Running outside also allows you to work on your form, cadence and stride. As your ability to run greater distances increases, so does the thrill of running in new surroundings.


    The benefits are plentiful.


    Running for fitness can be fun and rewarding. It is a great endurance workout that gets the entire body moving. Running works the abs and shoulders as well as the entire lower body. Running has also been shown to strengthen the heart and circulatory system. It increases lung capacity. You can also burn an average of 100 calories per mile depending on body weight.  This may not seem like a lot but consider that once you work your way up to five miles that’s 500 calories! Running also leaves you energetic all day if you run first thing in the morning. Evening runners find that it relieves the stress of the day. The results you see from running have a tendency to promote positive lifestyle changes. You tend to want to eat healthier to maintain your new found health and energy.



    The hardest part is getting started.


    Like most things in life the hardest part of running is starting. If you have never run before it can be daunting to take the first step. The best way to start is a walk/run program. There are many programs you can follow. A good rule is to walk one and a half minutes and then run thirty-seconds. The goal is to increase your running increment time to match your walk time, which would be walk one and a half minutes and run one and a half minutes. Work your way up to thirty minutes of running/walking before working up to straight running. Overall, starting an informed running program with cautious moderation can make running a life changing activity.

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