Logging in some kilometers on the trails or the treadmill has been linked to all kinds of health benefits. Here's five reasons why you should give running a try this spring!
1. It's relatively easy and requires little investment to get started. With as little investment as a good pair of running shoes, start off slow alternating walking and jogging until you feel comfortable to try to pick up the pace and settle into a nice running groove.
2. Very few exercises are as effective at torching calories. In a study done by the Medical College of Wisconsin and the VA Medical Center, running at a solid intensity on the treadmill burned between 705 - 865 calories per hour.
3. Running can help prevent some lifestyle related diseases. Regular cardio exercise can help not only keep your weight in check, but can also decrease your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancers.
4. You'll stress less. Jogging has not only been shown to lower blood pressure, but researchers at the University of Georgia recently showed that exercise, such as running, is effective at reducing the physiological and mood symptoms of anxiety.
5. The new magic number - 5.4 for men and 11.3 for women. According to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, that's the average number of hours of life expectancy you can expect to tack on per hour of vigourous exercise, such as running. Now there's a return on investment worth considering!
Williams PT, Thompson PD. Walking versus running for hypertension, cholesterol, and diabetes mellitus risk reduction. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2013 May;33(5):1085-91.
Herring, MP, O’Connor, PJ, Dishman, RK. The Effect of Exercise Training on Anxiety Symptoms Among Patients: A Systematic Review. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(4):321-331.
Janssen I, Carson V, Lee IM, et al. Years of life gained due to leisure-time physical activity in the U.S. Am J Prev Med 2013;44(1):23-29.