Five health benefits of running every day – The Economic Times

mental health,stress,anxiety,alzheimer’s

Five health benefits of running every day

Everyone knows that running is a great way to get into shape, but d >

By Daniel Vaz

Everyone knows that running is a simple and great way to get into shape, but did you ever think that it could even lift your spirit and boost overall mental health?

Running can be incredibly beneficial in a number of ways and one doesn’t have to plan elaborately to go for a run; all you need is proper shoes. As per the latest research, even running 20 minutes per day can have a dramatic positive impact on a person’s health and well-being.

In case you have never been a fan of running, maybe this ready reckoner can help you see running in a new light. Here are five benefits of running that you probably never knew.

-Prevents cognitive decline: As we age, we become more prone to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.These diseases slowly start affecting our brain cells, reducing our ability to function properly . Running isn’t a magical cure to Alzheimer’s, but it can help in boosting the brain chemicals that support and prevent degeneration.

-Reduces anxiety: Running does more than just lighten the body’s load. It goes a long way in reducing anxiety and keeps your mental health in check. Running is known to increase the concentration of norepinephrine, a chemical that mobilises the brain and body for action. Norepinephrine secretion levels fluctuate from lowest in sleep to medium during wakefulness and reach much higher levels during stress or in the situation of any fight-or-flight response.

-Enhances confidence: Running regularly can make a noticeable difference to your confidence and selfesteem. When we are able to achieve our set goals, it gives us a greater sense of inner peace and feeling of happiness.

-Boosts mood: We know about ‘Runner’s High’ that people feel when they come back from a great run. Research has proven that running leads to improved mood immediately afterwards. Even if one could spare 20 minutes each morning for a run, there are increased chances that you would be in a great mood all day.

-Improves sleep: A quality night sleep of 7-8 hours is essential for nurturing the body . Regular running activity can improve the body’s sleep routine and help in keeping performance high. A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found out that daily morning runs led to significantly better sleep in a group of healthy teenagers.

There are many reasons why we should take up running as an exercise activity starting from getting a natural glow to preventing cardiovascular diseases, increased longevity to strengthened ligaments and joints.

Well, the benefits of running are not just restricted to one’s health. Joining running clubs can also help in connecting with people who have health on mind, gradually helping in widening one’s social circle.

And, it is never too late to start running.The world’s oldest marathon runner, Fauja Singh, didn’t even start racing until he was 89 years of age. Now, at 102, he is a world record holder for the full marathon, in his age bracket.

So, let’s hit the ground running.

(The writer is Head Coach, Nike+ Run Club)

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