When people think of exercise, very few would overlook running as a definite possibility. Running is a great fat burner. You can burn off a can of soda in one mile, and a granola bar on the way back, and still maintain cardiovascular benefits for up to two hours after you stop running. Another reason running is a great choice, especially for first time exercises, is there is not expensive equipment to buy and to keep it fresh and never boring, all you have to do is change directions. Running has actually been shown to improve self esteem levels, strengthen bones, increase stamina, and give the heart and lungs one of the best workouts of any exercise. The cardiovascular workout provided by running is the very thing the doctor ordered to keep your risk of heart disease and stroke, which happens to be one of the biggest killers worldwide.
You do not have to start off running marathons to get the health benefits from running either. Many people start off by not even running at all, but simply walking. Walking can burn calories also, and is easier on the knees and other joints in older, inexperienced, or out of shape individuals. Both the speed and the distance traveled during your run can be increased gradually to increase both performance and metabolic benefit.
There is no reason to injure yourself while enjoying running. Make sure to stretch out properly before each run and do not take on more than you can chew. Making sure that the pulse and breathing remain elevated for 20-30 minutes a day can cut your risk for heart disease in half, so feeling like you need to enter the New York Marathon, or complete a 3 minute mile in order to get benefit is not needed. Also make sure to drink plenty of water. Dehydration is the runner’s enemy, and leg and side cramps, chronic soreness in the limbs, or even passing out can all be consequences for depriving you body of much needed water when running.
Running can be experienced by all ages and athletic ability. The advantages of running or even walking far outweigh the cost of most people’s excuses not to. So tighten those laces, stretch those legs, and head out on an adventure to wherever you wish, as all directions lead to better health.