If you are wondering whether running is the right exercise option for you, this article takes a closer look at the facts behind some of the top health benefits of running both on a treadmill or outdoors.
It is proven that running regularly can have a huge impact on your overall health and well-being, with studies showing that running for even five minutes a day can help to; reduce risk of heart attack or stroke, reduce cardiovascular disease, lower the risk of cancer, and lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease at an early age. Other studies have revealed additional benefits that can be achieved through indoor running, such as improved sleep and mood.
While running is a total-body workout, it primarily relies on the use of your lower body muscles. According to Healthline, the main areas that are worked during a run include:
By training your lower body it helps with spinal alignment and proper form, helping you to carry out daily tasks.
Running is a form of exercise that can significantly improve your cardiovascular fitness, which in turn can reduce the risk a multitude of conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, suggested that running has health benefits regardless of how long or far you are running. Their study identified that participants that ran had a 30% lower risk of early death caused by heart and circulatory conditions, a 27% lower risk of early death from any health cause, and a 23% lower risk of early death from cancer.
In addition, indoor running can help to strengthen your immunity levels. In a 2019 study, it was summarised that there is a compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defence system, whereby running can improve the body’s resistance to disease, lower inflammation, reduce risk of upper respiratory infections and the flu and enhance response to antibodies.
According to the American Diabetes Association, exercise can prevent or reduce Type 2 diabetes and benefit those with type 1 diabetes. In 2019, a study was published on the connection between runners and reduced risk of diabetes. The study followed over 19,000 adults for a period of more than 6 years, comparing rates of diabetes in runners against non-runners and found that the runners had a 72% lower rate of diabetes development.
Whilst running is considered a high impact sport, runners have a reduced rate of having arthritis compared to non-runners. A study that compared 675 marathon runners with non-runners non-active controls, and concluded that arthritis rates amongst marathon runners was significantly lower than non-runners. Additional research identified that even ultramarathon runner’s femoropatellar joints are not negatively impacted from long distances of running.
Sleep is when your body recovers and is highly important to your wellbeing. If you are struggling to fall asleep, or your sleep quality is poor, then hopping on your treadmill for a late run may be a good solution to your problem. According to experts from Johns Hopkins, there is solid evidence supporting the fact that exercise can help you fall asleep quicker and improves sleep quality.
Running has been proven to improve your mental health. A 2016 meta-analysis concluded that, among other positive outcomes, exercise is considered effective for improving depression. This is due to endorphins and serotonin being released into your body when you run, which boosts your mood.
However, we always advise seeking medical advice when it comes to mental wellbeing. Solely relying on running may not be enough to overcome mental health problems.
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