Running can be a tremendous benefit to your health in a number of ways. People who run regularly report much better health outcomes including improved physical function and better mental wellbeing. Specifically, running regularly can actually help out your knees as long as you do it responsibly (stretch, don’t overdo it, etc.) as it can help strengthen muscles and bones. It can also help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight which is of crucial importance in order to stave off a number of chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, both which take the lives of many millions of people every year. Running can be a great equalizer and help reduce some of the effects of the the stressful lives we may live.
In addition to the physical benefits, running will help clear your mind and in turn, reduce stress. Can’t get that issue from work or that fight you had with a loved one off your mind? Go for a run! It may surprise you how much your attitude shifts and your thinking becomes clearer afterwards. It will likely also help with your memory and confidence in general. Several studies confirm the mental effects of running as your blood circulation improves and you really get some positive changes in your physical function. Doing it regularly enough may even lengthen your life as suggested in a large 2014 study which found that those who ran daily even for just five to ten minutes outlived those who did not run at all by an average of three years. So time is no excuse either- everyone has at least a few minutes to run (30 minutes of physical activity daily is really optimal if possible, but there are exceptions and this can matter on a lot of things).
Overall, the benefits of running are undeniable, especially when combined with a healthy diet and good sleep every night. If you have trouble running, it is perfectly okay to walk or to build up to running- what matters most is that you get physical activity rather than not. And running is certainly something you can build up to and get better at over time as long as you can get into a routine and stick with it. It may take some discipline to get started, but if you do start and stick with it for a few months, your body and mind will certainly thank you!
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