What would you like to know?
Share this Story

5 Reasons you should be running

Sarah Kelsey is a lifestyle writer, editor and spokesperson based in Toronto. She was the editor of AOL/The Huffington Post Canada’s StyleList, Style and Living sites. Today, she's a freelancer writing for some of North America’s top pub...

Running perks

Runners will tell you they run because they're addicted or simply because they love it. Not the best arguments for people who don't share the same running passion - but there are plenty of other reasons you should get on track with a running plan. Here are our favorite five reasons you should be running.

Running Woman

1. You'll be able to fit into that bikini

Why this is important: Running is one of the best calorie-burning exercises out there. In an hour, the average 140-pound woman will burn over 550 calories. And that's on top of the full-body workout you get – even at a moderate pace, your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, back, abdominals and arms will feel the burn.

Just remember to…Drink lots of water before and after your run. Running is a high-intensity workout and you're guaranteed to sweat. Staying hydrated will keep your muscles limber and will help rinse away lactic acid build-up.



2. You'll boost your cardiovascular system

Why this is important: Your cardiovascular system needs a daily workout. By strengthening it, you up your body's ability to combat heart disease, chronic stress and other health conditions. And every day tasks like climbing stairs or lifting a heavy box will be easier.

Just remember to…Start your running plan off slowly. Though you want to reap the health and fitness benefits of running, pushing yourself too fast, too soon, could do you more harm than good. So start at a slow pace and work your way up from there. You'll avoid injury, train more effectively, and reduce the risk of running burn out.



3. You'll stop aging in its tracks

Why this is important: Running is a high-impact sport. Not only are you working your muscles, you're also strengthening your bones and bettering your brain. And that'll help you stay young and stave off diseases like osteoporosis, arthritis and Alzheimer's.

Just remember to…Stretch. Running can be hard on your body, that's especially true if you don't stretch before and after your workout. Make stretching a habit, and you'll keep your muscles limber, you'll prevent injury (which could permanently affect your body and desire to run) and you'll stay flexible (meaning you'll be able to comfortably move around no matter what your age).



4. You'll get outdoors

Why this is important: You may be busy and think all you want to do when you get free time is veg on the couch. But research shows getting outside at least once a day may just boost your sense of wellbeing (something couchtime with the TV won't do). Because running outdoors can be done in any kind of weather, it's a great way to get up and get outside (just dress appropriately to keep it enjoyable).

Just remember to…Listen to your body on a run. If you've had a particularly long day or are exhausted, don't force yourself to keep running. All it takes is 15 minutes of outdoor activity to feel the positive effects. You can also run for a while then slow it down to a brisk walk, another effective way to improve your mental and physical health.



5. You'll boost your mood

Why this is important: When you workout, your pituitary gland (a pea-sized but powerful gland at the base of the brain) releases endorphins. If you've ever heard of a runner referring to a "runner's high," this may be why. Endorphins boost your mood (no matter how grumpy you are) and increase your sense of power and control. And, bonus, that runner's high will last several hours after your run is done.

Just remember to…Pace yourself. Though a runner's high feels great, you still need to listen to your body to prevent injury. If you start feeling like it's time to stop, then stop (don't practice the No Pain, No Gain philosophy!). You can always go on another run tomorrow. And be sure to incorporate other types of workouts into your running program – crosstraining will help you get even more fit and it will keep you feeling fresh when you do hit the pavement or trails.



Keep reading for more running tips


Best surfaces for running
8 Running tips for race day
Ease into running with these running tips

Recommended for You
Comments
Hot
New in Health & Wellness
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!