What's So Great About Running?

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Running to me is the ultimate training experience - I absolutely love it. Nothing else gets my heart rate up so high and nothing feels better than experiencing an awesome run.

Unfortunately, many people who start running loathe it. As a Personal Trainer, I would quite often incorporate running within my client's training session only to have to listen to their constant complaints of how much they hated it.

But you know what? Those clients who continued their training for the long term ended up loving their running.

So why bother? Why do I bother? Why did I have my clients run even though I knew they would not enjoy it? Why did they end up loving it too?

Here's a list of benefits to answer the above questions.

Running improves your physical health by:

  • increasing good cholesterol
  • increasing lung function
  • increasing immunity by improving you lymphatic system
  • increasing levels of vitamin D
  • decreasing blood pressure
  • decreasing the risk of clots that can then lead to a stroke by keeping your arteries flexible
  • decreasing the risk of developing some cancers
  • decreasing your risk of developing osteoporosis
  • decreasing the risk of having a heart attack
  • decreasing your biological age
  • strengthening your heart
  • strengthening bones and joints
  • providing a great tool for weight management

Running improves your mental health by:

  • increasing your confidence
  • relieving stress
  • fighting depression
  • preventing age-related mental decline

Weight Loss

Running sits at second place to being able to burn off the highest amount of calories per minute with cross country skiing sitting at first place.

You not only burn calories whilst you run but you will also experience what is known by scientists as excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC), meaning you will burn calories after your run

You may have heard that this only happens when incorporating hard sprinting, but because running boosts the heart rate up so easy you don't have to run like your being chased by a tiger every minute or so. You only need to run at 70% of your VO2 max at regular intervals throughout some of your training. 

An easy way to gauge this is to use what's known as Borg's scale. If you think of your running effort in terms of a scale between 1 - 10 with 1 being really really easy and 10 being extremely hard, you want to feel as though you are running at a level you would consider to be 7/10.


Running will have your brain release feel-good hormones known as endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are a cannabis like molecule that keeps you happy. So no matter how you feel before your run, you will feel so much better after your run.

A good thing To Be Addicted To

Studies have shown that running causes the same kind of neurochemical adaptions in the brain reward pathways that would be shared with addictive drugs.

Strengthens bones and joints

Being a weight-bearing exercise, running is great for increasing bone mass which is a major factor in preventing osteoporosis.

Many fear running will damage their knee joints, however, science has proven that running can actually improve the health of your knees. Runners are even less likely to develop arthritis as they get older.

I will add here that I highly recommend you look into the correct running technique for yourself. Speak to a pro or even a good podiatrist. As for myself, I'm a minimalist runner all the way.

Prevent Age-Related Mental Decline

Studies have found that fit older adults score better in mental tests for attention, concentration, memory and with organizing and planning.

Increase Vitamin D

Running outdoors provides a nice hit of Vitamin D. So much of what we do these days is indoors leaving many people deficient in Vitamin D. This deficiency can lead to depression, decreased bone strength and even Type 2 diabetes.

A couple of other great things about running is that no commute is necessary, you can step outside and run, and, minimal equipment is needed, just yourself, your clothes, running shoes (if you use them) and a couple of accessories such as hat, sunnies and fitness watch.

So there you have it. Plenty of great reasons to run, reasons to get you started and reasons to keep you going. Did I mention my main reason for running? The thing that motivates me when I'm not feeling so inspired to get my heart pumping - it's knowing how great I feel afterward. There's nothing else like it. It's never too late to get started

It's never too late to get started and so many reasons to keep at it so get out there and enjoy.

Yours in Keeping Functional and Natural,

Donna Dekker.

P.S. Want more control over when you can run on any given day? Thought about starting your own online marketing business? It won't be easy, but nothing that's worthwhile is (just like running). I'd say you have necessary skills to be successful with your own business if you run regularly - that discipline and consistent action is what will get you there. Curious?  Click the link below to sign up for an obligation free 7-day video series which will provide you with more information abut what an online business is all about. 

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