Ever wondered why some people are ‘addicted’ to running. I mean what’s so addictive? You simply move your legs for an hour or two and drench yourself in sweat, right?
Well, it’s been found that running actually causes your brain to pump out endocannabinoids. So when we run, our brains reward us by releasing cannabis-like substances to make us feel good. Small wonder that runners are so hooked!
Besides the feel-good effect of running, here are a few reasons to add it to your workout.
1) Protects Bones
Running is a kind of weight bearing exercise where your body is constantly jarred by the ground at a low impact. Weight-bearing exercises cause your muscles to pull on your bones in order to withstand the stress of this activity. This continuous pulling helps to increase bone density, ultimately strengthening your bones.
This reduces the risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related problems later on.
2) Strengthens Core
Most runners don’t actually feel the effect that running has on their core. But while running, your midsection is perpetually engaged, which ensures stronger core muscles.
Your core muscles affect the performance of every other muscle in your body. So a stronger core also means enhanced performance. This in turn helps to improve posture, strengthens your limbs, and makes physical activity a lot easier.
3) Increases Stamina
Regular running teaches you to learn how to breathe correctly without getting winded too early. As you start to run longer distances, you learn to breathe efficiently so you can sustain yourself for longer.
Correct breathing, coupled with prolonged physical activity helps to improve your stamina. And with enhanced stamina, you can push yourself to achieve more in every workout. And if you’re into sports, then improved stamina means better performance.
4) Better Sleep
Being a fairly intense cardiovascular activity, running on a regular basis tends to exhaust the body. When you’re tired and exhausted, it’s a lot easier to fall asleep, and the quality of sleep is also a lot deeper.
Intense physical activity coupled with deep sleep allows your body to heal a lot faster. So while your body may be worn down after a day of activity, you’re sure to feel strong and refreshed the next day.
5) Healthy Heart
All cardiovascular exercises are superb for the heart, and running is one of the most effective cardiovascular exercises out there.
When you perform cardio, most of your blood is directed to muscles that are working and away from areas that aren’t. Thanks to this, there is increased blood flow to the working parts of your body, and there is an increase in the volume of the blood returning to your heart.
To deal with this increased volume, the left ventricle enlarges, allowing it to store more blood and release a larger quantity with each beat.
With increased cardio, your heart begins to work a lot less to pump blood throughout your body. This is why cardio (especially running) is excellent for your heart.