Thursday, 28 June 2012

Why do I run?

Sometimes, when I tell people I have just been out for a long run or that I got up at 6am for a nice early morning 5k , people say "Jude, you are crazy" (or other variations of the same thing). So I thought I would write a little bit about the benefits of running and why I enjoy it so much.

Health benefits

Its painfully obvious that running is good for your health. It is a great way to get fit and loose weight, this much is common knowledge, but running also has all of these benefits too:

  • lowers blood pressure
  • reduces resting pulse
  • reduces cholestorol levels
  • Improves cardiovasular fitness
  • increases strength in bones anreduces risk of osteporosis
  • Strengthens connective tissues and joints, reducing injury risk.
  • higher energy consumption (i.e. you will burn more calories and reduce body fat percentage)
  • Reduced risk of insulin resistance - Type 2 diabetes.
Healthy body = Healthy mind

Have you ever felt after excercise that you are in a great mood, you feel great and energised. Well all of the above combine to make you generally feel more positive. Its no surprise that by treating your body right and improving your general fitness that you will feel good mentally too. Long distance running releases endorphines which contribute to the phenomenon known as "runner's high" which is when you feel euphoric after or during a run. Trust me, this is a real thing, I have felt it. Everything feels great, you feel you could run forever, and you can't stop smiling (note - I know that sound ridiculously cheesy). However it is possible to become addicted to this endorphine release and this is probably why so many runners continue to put themselves through the pain and strain.

It's Free

I am a cheapskate, so the fact that running is essentially free is a big plus point for me. All you really need is something to wear on your feet (although what you should wear is hotly contested at the moment). I would also reccommend wearing some sort of clothing (to avoid being arrested), but nothing special is needed, just shorts and t-shirt.

It's Fun
I really enjoy the thrill of trying to become faster, working out a training schedule that will result in my times falling. Competing in races is great too. When you are running in a big event with thousands of other people it really gets the adrenaline pumping.
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