Running is one of the most popular method of exercise. You don’t need to be a marathon runner to enjoy the health benefits of running.
1. Improve your mood
A 2012 study found that running or walking for just 30 minutes a day can improve a person’s mood, help improve sleep, and increase concentration levels throughout the day.
The University of Michigan also conducted a study which stated that individuals who went through a stressful period in their life can benefit greatly and experience better moods and lowered depression levels after a long, peaceful walk.
2. Improved cardiovascular health
A simple 15 minutes run or jog daily that gets your heart pumping and your muscles working is sufficient for a good workout. Moreover, running is almost free, a pair of good running shoes is all you need.
As a moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise, running offers many physiological, psychological and cardiovascular health benefits, even for a recreational runner like us.
Challenge yourself to build your stamina such that you are still able to carry out a conversation while running. In order to reap the full benefits, you must be running fast enough to raise your heart rate. As you become more comfortable with your current distance, you can gradually increase your running pace to allow your body to adapt.
3. Running stimulates the brain
Running can trigger brain cell growth in the hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Running also develops the areas of the brain which control movement, coordination and long-term memory, which can be essential in helping you improve productivity at work.
4. Running enhances emotional and psychological well-being
Running releases natural feel-good hormones called endorphins. Running, especially distance running, gives you the time and space to clear your mind or think through a problem. Running can instantly lift up your mood and give you a sense of well-being.
Tips you should know before you start running
To improve efficiency as well as avoid potential injuries, it is important prepare the necessary equipment and start small.
The first thing you should prepare is a good pair of shoes. A good pair of shoes is important in ensuring your safety while you run. On top of a good pair of shoes, a comfortable sports outfit and perhaps a pair of sport earphone can also helps you in your run.
Secondly, it is not very realistic to run 5 kilometer or even 10 kilometer as a beginner. Perhaps you can consider starting small from 2 kilometer. Give some time for your body to adapt to the running. Once you feel that your body is able to manage the 2 kilometer run, then you can slowly increase your run by 1 kilometer at a time. Subsequently, you will get used to longer distance run as time goes by.
Thirdly, it is also important for you to find your personal motivation while you run. After running for 1 or 2 months, it is also common to notice that you lost interest in running. However in this situation, it is encouraged that you continue to persist in running, at least once a week for several kilometer. this helps you to pass the bottleneck period of running. After this period, you will mature to become a better runner.
Lastly, find companions to run together. Running can become an enjoyment. Finding a group with similar individuals that also loves to run will also keep you motivated. You are able to enjoy each others victories or even your rough times from poor performances and injuries. The other runners may also assist you with questions that you have, helping you to improve your running. It's easier to succeed when you're not alone and you'll also be able to make new friends with similar interest. Look for one that have several levels of runners so you can find a group to run with. There are no hard and fast rules. Experiment for your self and figure out what works best for you.