Running benefits: why should I take up running?

Running has been a popular mode of physical activity suitable for all age groups and can be done anytime and anywhere. It is inexpensive, easily accessible, can be performed alone or in groups. Regular running has been promoted for enhancing our health and building a physically active lifestyle.

It is a commonly shared belief that running is beneficial for us, but in exactly what way?

Running benefits

The benefits of running can be broken down into two categories:

1. Physical health

Running, which is a form of aerobic exercise, when completed consistently, can lead to a range of health benefits including:

  • Increased cardiorespiratory fitness which is linked to a reduction in premature mortality rate by 25-45% and reduces the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and other diseases
  • Increased bone mineral density
  • Reduced body fat percentage

2. Mental health

Evidence suggests that people who start running to improve their physical health, will also notice mental and emotional benefits including:

  • Improved mood
  • Enhanced self-image and confidence
  • Improved management of psychological conditions, such as depression, anxiety, tension and low self esteem

The mechanism of this may be that aerobic exercise in a supportive group setting has the component of perceived social support. Exercise also heightens autonomy and self-efficacy – the belief of one’s own capability.

Ultimately, running can be a therapeutic tool in prevention and therapy in different physical and psychological conditions. An essential aspect of physical activity relates to how much of it you are doing. The effects of running will be larger for longer length of training. Simply, the longer one exercises, the larger the benefits one achieves.

Not sure where to start running? Start at the park or at the scenic Bay run 🏃 

Come visit our exercise physiologists. They will be able to assess your current exercise capacity, provide advice and help develop a running plan with you that is suited to your needs and goals. We’re more than happy to help you so book with us today!

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