Are You a Runner? You’re either a runner, or you’re not… but you may not know for sure which type of person you are if you haven’t really given it a chance. Even if you think you’re not, and enjoy or engage in other types of exercise, there is still a certain kind of person that just really finds more pleasure in it than others will. Once you “get it” though, it’s just something you can’t give up, and there are a number of benefits of running that can not only help you improve the way you look, but the way you feel as well.
If you are someone who hasn’t really put in the time to decide if you really love running or not, you should know that it generally takes more that a week or so to be able to truly feel the benefits that running can provide. When you first begin, it’s usually not all that comfortable for those who are out of shape. Even if you are in decent cardiovascular condition, running is a different type of high that can only be appreciated when you’ve given this fantastic exercise option a chance.
Running can give you greater cardiovascular benefits than other forms of exercise, and it burns a significantly higher amount of calories than simply walking. Therefore, it will not only reduce your risk of internal diseases, but it can help you lower your blood pressure and help you lose weight. Still, there are a whole other set of seemly endless benefits that running can provide: namely, that fact that it improves mental attitude, and bone and joint conditions. That’s right, running might not be so bad for your knees after all.
In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), David Felson, a Boston University researcher, revealed that the long-term studies with runners didn’t show that runners produced any more of a risk of developing osteoarthritis that those who didn’t run, and that running didn’t appear to cause additional damage to knees. Felson stated:
“When we look at runners and follow them over time, we don’t find that their risk of developing osteoarthritis is any more than expected.”
Seeing long-term research like this may be a large surprise to many who were told that running is a high-impact pastime that is largely damaging to the knees, back, and joints; however, when exercising properly, the truth is that this isn’t the case for most people at all. In fact, not only is running good for you, but runners are often happier than those who perform minimal exercise. Perhaps this is because runners usually long to be outdoors as much as possible, where they can experience nature and get proper doses of vitamin D from the sun (which only improves mood and attitude even more), or it may just be because of the varying levels of stress relief that running can provide.
Want more relief? Run faster. Looking for a little clarity? A long, sustained, medium-paced run can do double-duty by allowing you to virtually hypnotize yourself with your patterned breathing and the sounds of your footsteps, while providing the endorphins you crave for improved attitude and a lighter mood.
While all exercise can relieve stress, help you lose weight, and help you live longer, there is just something about running that is different from everything else. If you haven’t given running a chance yet, you should. It’s probably one of the most addicting and most perfect exercises around. And,for those who are seeking a little escape while they improve their mental and physical health, this may be just what you have been looking for.