Beat the winter blues by running to keep fit, cheerful and healthy

Why Running is Good for Health

Running is more than an exercise. It helps you lose weight and keeps you fit. It can de-stress you in a big way and also boost your confidence levels.

The benefits of running are plenty:

 Physical benefits

1.Running helps you lose weight:

Almost nothing cuts flab the way running does. Running a mile burns about 100 calories – much more than most other cardiovascular exercises such as cycling or walking. And once your weight stabilises, regular running is an excellent way to maintain it. The end result, you’ll look leaner and feel fitter.

2.Running boosts heart function:

Running is great for overall cardiovascular health. Besides keeping your blood pressure in control, it improves your heart’s capacity to pump blood and its ability to utilise oxygen efficiently. Secondly, it increases the expansion and contraction of the arteries by nearly three times the normal rate, keeping them supple and facilitating the pumping of the heart, which means a lowered risk of heart disease.

3.Increases HDL cholesterol:

Higher levels of HDL (high density lipoproteins) cholesterol, in other words, good cholesterol, prevent atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries), and thus protect you against heart attacks, and heart failure. One way to do this is to start running. How much should you run to help yourself get fitter and healthier? According to research, positive HDL cholesterol changes occur after  running only 8 kilometres a week.

4.Improves lung capacity:

When you run, your body requires more oxygen. By forcing your lungs to use their full potential, running greatly improves your lung capacity. In fact, even smokers can greatly recover their lung capacity in this way.

5.Strengthens joints and ligaments:

Non-runners proclaim that running is bad for the knees. But running the right way, with the right care and gear, can actually keep knee and other joints flexible and supple. Regular running strengthens the ligaments and makes them less susceptible to injuries. It also compresses and expands cartilages in the hips, knees and ankles, thus helping them draw more oxygen and flushing out toxins, and thereby keeping them healthy.

6.Slows aging:

A regular running regime confers various health benefits over time. It strengthens the bones and muscles, and improves alertness and agility. It increases the production of white blood cells, called lymphocytes, thereby raising your immunity and protecting you against diseases. By maintaining mobility and checking excess body weight, running also prevents debilitating conditions such as osteoarthritis

What else is good about running?

It’s cheap to do and  done almost anywhere but remember to keep safe and know your neighbourhood.  You can run on the spot or do interval training by downloading the app from NHS Choices which accompanies you on a 20 minute run with a voice telling you when to run and when to walk to recover your breath. Visit the app site here for a free download or watch the video here 

Or why not just turn off the computer and go out for a walk.  Trust me it’s good fun once you get used to it.  Subscribe to my newsletter for more information about health and wellbeing.

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