Running is a simple, yet effective form of exercise that has numerous physical and mental health benefits. It is a low-impact, low-cost activity that can be done anywhere, at any time, making it an accessible form of exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels.
What are the benefits of running?
1. Improved cardiovascular health
Running is a great way to improve your heart health. It helps increase your heart rate, which in turn increases the blood flow throughout your body. This helps strengthen your heart and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other related health problems. Regular running can also help lower your blood pressure, reducing the strain on your heart and blood vessels.
2. Improved mental health
Running is not just good for your physical health, but it can also have a positive impact on your mental health. Regular running can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and improve your overall mood and well-being. By getting outside and exercising, you can also improve your sleep quality and reduce fatigue, helping you feel more refreshed and energised.
3. Increased energy levels
Running is a great way to boost your energy levels. By getting your heart rate up, running can help increase blood flow to your brain and muscles, giving you a burst of energy. This energy boost can last for several hours after you have finished running, helping you get through the rest of your day with more energy and focus.
4. Weight management
Running is a great way to help you control your weight. It is a high-impact exercise that burns a significant amount of calories, making it an effective tool for weight management. By combining a healthy diet with regular running, you can easily achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reducing your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other related health problems.
5. Fun and Social
Running can also be a fun and social activity. There are many running groups and events that take place all over the world, allowing runners to connect with like-minded people and participate in activities together. Running can also be a great way to explore new places and see different parts of your local area or city.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned runner, make sure to include running in your exercise routine to reap the numerous health benefits it provides.
What do I need to know before i start?
- Get proper running shoes
Invest in a good pair of running shoes that fit well and provide adequate support. This will help prevent injuries and make your runs more comfortable.
- Start with a warm-up
Before you begin your run, it’s important to warm up your muscles. You can do this by doing some light stretching, jumping jacks, or walking for a few minutes.
- Begin with a run-walk strategy
If you’re new to running, it’s best to start slow and gradually increase your intensity. A run-walk strategy is a great way to do this. Start with a 5-minute walk to warm up, then alternate between running and walking for 1 minute each. Repeat this cycle for 20-30 minutes. The ‘Couch-to-5k’ program is an excellent free resource – available as an App.
- Set a schedule
Consistency is key when it comes to running. Set a schedule for your runs and stick to it. You can start with 2-3 runs per week and gradually increase the frequency and duration as your fitness improves.
- Cool down and stretch
After a run, take a few minutes to cool down by walking or jogging slowly. This will help your heart rate and breathing to return to normal. Then, do some light stretching to help prevent soreness and injury.
If you would like to know more, come in and talk to your favourite Osteopath!
Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. Running is a great exercise that can improve your cardiovascular health, but it’s important to start slow and gradually increase your intensity to prevent injury.
By Dr Kira Neilson – Osteopath at North Carlton Osteopathy