All the benefits of running

During this current COVID-19 crisis where gyms and sports clubs are closed in many countries, many will fall back to running as a means of exercise, and there’s a reason why – Running is possibly the most accessible sport in the world, all you need is a pair of runners and youre off and if you you live near a beach then you dont even need them!

Running is a sport any one without serious physical impairment of injury can do, if requires no lessons or classes, has no weather restrictions and can be done anywhere and any time.  Running also falls in with the rules of social distancing and is a safe solo sport that can keep you mentally and physically fit in these trying times.

Lets look at the benefits of running as an exercise:

Aerobic Exercise

Both running and jogging are great and real easy forms of aerobic exercise. Aerobic means €˜with oxygen €“ the term €˜aerobic exercise means any physical activity that produces energy by combining oxygen with blood glucose or body fat.  Aerobic exercises are a must in any fitness plan.

Physical Benefits

Running is a weight bearing exercise so it will help build and maintain healthy bones. Along with a healthy diet its a great exercise for weightloss. While its not as good as many sports or gym for muscles, running does work your them.

Running starts with the legs €” toning the calves, shins, hamstrings and quads. Traverse up hilly terrain and your glutes will reap the rewards. But running doesnt just firm the lower body. But running doesnt just firm the lower body. A straight, supported spine is a must for any runner and in order to stay upright while running or jogging you will constantly rely on your abdominal / core muscles.

Mental Benefits

Running isnt just good for your body €“ it works wonders for your mental and emotional health, too. Theres lots of research out there which shows that exercise not only helps combat stress, it can also help enhance your mood. Studies have also proven that exercise can play a deeply therapeutic role in addressing psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, stress and sleeping problems.

The mental benefits of exercising or playing sport

Running is for everyone

There is no specific age, physic or body weight that are barriers to running.

If you’re starting off and are older, or overweight, it’s recommended that you slowly build up your pace. Starting points can be a fast walk, with a gradual progression to a slow jog.

Choosing the right running shoe

If youre serious about running then there are a lot of things to consider and it can get complicated! To start with you need to choose the right shoe for the right surface, and then theres choosing the right trainer for your foot shape.  Here is more information on both:

Choosing the right running shoe for different surfaces

Choosing the right shoe for your foot

Conclusion

So along with its ease, low or now cost and accessibility its clear to see that running has amazing benefits as an exercise. But there are a few things to watch out for €“ Shin splints can be a common runners problem. To avoid make sure you have the right running shoes and remember different running surfaces have different affects on the body. Heres a guide to how the 7 different running surfaces can affect the body.

If you want to mix your running up a bit, try running up hill or on trails. Trail running has lots of benefits over road running. Doing sprints is another great way to make running more physical.

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