The Health Benefits of Running

There are those of us who will say they’re not good at running. It’s too boring, too demanding, or there isn’t enough time. I’m here to squash those excuses and tell you about the benefits of running.

1. Boost Weight Loss

Running, as with any form of cardio, will help you lose weight. When working you, your body will burn more calories as energy to your muscles. The extremely simple formula is: if you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming, your body will lose weight.

Try to mix up your running sessions to ensure you’re challenging yourself. Try throw in some Fartlek running along with some sprint sessions. You’ll find yourself breathing a lot harder in a shorter time.

Variety is the spice of life, and exercise is no different. You should mix your running with other forms of exercise to help increase your lean muscle mass, such as doing our boot camp training.

As an added bonus, the benefits of exercise don’t stop when you stop. When you complete a good workout session, your body stays in “afterburn” mode, or as scientists like to call it: EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption).

2. Improve Your Stamina

Your body adapts to the stresses placed upon it, such as when exercising. If you’re new to the running, it might seem “too hard” at the moment. Stick with it, train consistently, and you will improve. Set yourself a goal, and track your progress. I guarantee you will notice an improvement in both your running and your general stamina. Taking the stairs, carrying the shopping, and chasing the kids around won’t seem so difficult as it once was.

3. Clear Your Head

There’s nothing better to destress and clear your head then exercise. If you’ve had a busy day or can’t switch your brain off then it might be time to go for a run.

Grab your earphones, put on some good, motivating music and just run. Pick a destination — or don’t — and just run. The only thing you need to focus on is putting one foot in front of the other. It’s a great way to destress, and unwind for the day.

If you’re not in the mood for music, put on your favourite podcast like Hamish & Andy. Run and laugh your head off. You might get a few odd looks from people, but you’ll soon get over it.

I’ve also heard that some of my members like to run and listen to audio books. If you’re like me, you’ve probably got a long list of books that you never have time to read. Get yourself an Audible account and give it a shot. If you can pick the right books, you’ll be so distracted by the story that you won’t notice just how tired you are.

4. Motivation

We all struggle with motivation at times. Sometimes Netflix is too enticing, or the weather isn’t on your side. During these times, you need some sort of motivation to give you that kick in the butt and start you running.

  • Take your dog with you, they’ll love getting outside and they might even set a blistering pace for you to match
  • Choose a good motivational audio book. I know one of our members listens to autobiographies of ex Navy SEALs. Your 5km run won’t seem so hard when listening to the sort of training those soldiers endure!
  • Find music that inspires you. Rocky soundtrack anyone?
  • Team up with a friend, then you can keep each other motivated
  • Sign up for a Fun Run and train for that goal

5. Easy Progress Tracking

Tracking your progress can be difficult at times when it comes to exercise. This is especially true when you’re doing full body training such as our outdoor boot camps. The massive variety of exercises means that no two workouts are the same, therefore it’s not really possible to measure and compare your progress across the workouts.

Running on the other hand is simple but effective. You can easily track your progress based on the distance, speed or duration of your runs.

It’s even easier to track your runs using one of the many apps available on your phone. The popular ones are Runkeeper and Nike+ but there are also the more unique options like Zombies, Run!

6. Running anytime, anywhere

Running is so simple that you’ve got no reason not to! All you need is to grab your headphones (if you want), put on some shoes (or not), and run.

We’re lucky to be surrounded by a lot of parks, nature trails and bike/foot tracks so try to make use of them.

If you want to push yourself a bit harder, do some sprint sessions at Knox or Croydon Athletics tracks.

So, ready to start your running regime? We’re starting a new Runners Club soon, so let me know if you’re interested in joining.