Why should you start running?
Monday morning. Your alarm doesn’t go off. You wake up late. You have to rush to work.
You get dressed, grab your bag and set off like a sprinter.
You run to get a cab…
You run to catch your train…
You run to grab a spot to sit in…
You run to your office…
You run to show your boss you’re hurrying.
Each and everyone of us is a runner. Either we are running to someplace because we’re perpetually late, or we’re running from our problems. But jokes aside, all of us humans are born to run. Now although these are good enough reasons to run, why is it that most of us don’t just make it a part of our routine and run everyday? Maybe, just maybe, we don’t know the advantages of running or being on the move.
Well, let’s look at what running has to offer, how it can be advantageous to us and maybe, just maybe, you will start running daily.
Improves Heart Health.
Before we even get to how our heart health improves with running, we should be asking the question as to why heart health is of prime importance in the first place?
For any bodily movement to be possible, the presence of oxygen in the muscles required to move is a must. Mainly because oxygen acts as a catalyst to produce energy which is crucial for movement. But how does oxygen even reach the muscles? Through the blood that’s pumped by, you guessed it, the heart. Blood acts as the transporter of oxygen to the muscles on the move. So if you run, your heart pumps more oxygen rich blood to the leg muscles. You want to lift some weights? The oxygenated blood rushes to the arms.
In much more simpler terms, any kind of movement that we need to make, depends on the heart and the circulatory system. That’s why it is crucial to keep the heart primed and ready for any challenge it needs to take on. Furthermore, the heart and endurance activities form the base or a foundation for any other type of exercise or fitness. And one easy way to build endurance is by running. How does it work?
The ingenuity of the human body is that it gets accustomed to the activities it is put through and in fact, gets efficient at doing it. It is only human nature to adapt and get adept. For runners just beginning their journey, the heart will need to beat a lot more to pump the required blood. But as the heart gets used to the regiment, it gets stronger…strong enough to pump more blood with a lesser number of beats.
If you think about it, heart health significantly improves simply by taking out a bit of time and going on a walk or walking a bit faster…in other words, jogging or running. Quite the bargain, isn’t it?
Balance and stability.
Now it isn’t just the heart that gets used to the things you do everyday. Your other muscles too, join in and adapt to your daily activities. And you don’t need to do something extremely difficult to improve your muscle strength. Just something as simple as walking in moderation can improve your stability and balance. When you walk everyday, essentially all the muscles below your hip are set in motion. As long as you don’t overdo it, your muscles will get stronger day by day, supporting your joints and your bodyweight, boosting your balance.
A healthy mind…
You’ve definitely heard someone or the other say that you cannot run away from your problems. Well, that’s true in its own sense. But it isn’t entirely true to a certain extent.
The brain is a melting pot of emotions and hormones and chemicals and reactions. It is the command centre of the body. But however commanding the brain may be, as it turns out, you do have a certain way to influence your brain and in turn, how you feel.
Indulging in physical activities is one way to feel good, and what better way than the most basic, simple way? RUN RUN RUN.
Every time you run, the brain releases endorphins, which are nothing but the feel good hormones of the body. Every time you are stressed or under duress, endorphins interact and essentially block the receptors in your brain responsible for discomfort and alleviate stress.
Know that rush of happiness when you stand under a hot shower after a long tiring day? Or the excitement when you are at a restaurant and you see your food coming up? Or the runner’s high that you get when you hit your stride? Endorphins. All of it.
The all important advantage: Weight loss
In the eyes of anyone putting in a shift, any physical activity that doesn’t have the capacity for weight loss isn’t really an activity that’s worth doing. And running isn’t any different.
Pinch yourself. Not too hard though, but just enough to latch onto a chunk of your skin. That right there, is your subcutaneous fat. It’s a big word and a lot to take, and if you have a lot of this fat, it can pose a threat to your wellbeing. Running is said to directly target this fat and reduce it. Of course, coupling this with a balanced diet will work wonders. But why running? Wouldn’t any other exercise just work?
Run a google search right now and come back to this! Google “What activity burns the most calories.” Satisfied with the results? Running is the foundation of most of the sports out there. So when people say that they are burning calories by playing football or cricket, they just mean that they are burning calories through a “modified form of running”.
To sum up, JUST RUN. Run like no one’s watching. Run like there is no tomorrow. Run however you want to run, and essentially whenever you want to run. But JUST RUN.
“One small step of effort, a giant leap for health and wellbeing.”