Okay there’s room for a variety of workouts in a fitness regime and we definitely encourage that, but sometimes just going for a run is the best thing you can do. Here’s why.
The Runner’s High is Real
That runner’s high is a real thing, which you probably already know if you’ve ever experienced it. One study published in Experimental Technology found that when we run our brains emit molecules that are similar to those of cannabis. If you just can’t quit your daily running habit, this might be why. (Not that you would want to anyway.)
It Doesn’t Require Preparation
Besides any mental kind, that is. To go for a run all you need to do is lace up the sneakers and head out the door. No getting in the car and driving to the gym, parking, dealing with people, etc. It also doesn’t require that you think a lot about what you’re going to do like plan sets or something. Running is just basically ready for you when you are, and there’s no time commitment or hours to follow so even if you change your mind once you get around the block on those really tough days you can just head back with nothing lost. You also don’t need any equipment besides your gear, so it’s basically free.
Keeps the Midsection Fit
One study found that men who ran 35 or more miles each week gained less weight in their midsection during their middle aged years than men who ran less than seven miles a week. No beer bellies here. Running is also a great calorie burning cardio exercise in general. The average hour run will burn around 600 calories which is a lot more than a lot of cardio options. (And way more than weight training, which is one reason why you need some of each.)
It Gets You Outside
As efficient as all out technology stuff is, we still need the great outdoors. Running outside can get you the vitamin D levels that you need to stay healthy and happy. Just being exposed to natural light on a regular basis can also help to regulate your sleep patterns and help to reduce anxiety and depression. Running outside also means that your dog can accompany you, which is healthy for both of you. You can also take a friend, which helps with accountability getting started and sticking to a distance or time frame.
Running is Good For Your Bones
Running actually strengthens the bones, which seems counteractive but isn’t. All that high impact pounding encourages the bones to grow as well as the muscles, which is something that swimming and cycling don’t do. Plus, if you’re outside getting that vitamin D, you’re giving your bones a boost that way as well. Just be sure to get enough calcium in your diet and through supplements to really support that bone health and reduce the risk of injury. Over the longterm this can help reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.