4 Life-Changing Health Benefits of Running

There’s something about that running high.

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It’s true: Running can be hard work. However, hard work often comes with big rewards. This is also true with running, which unsurprisingly comes with a number of health benefits. Bonus: There’s nothing like lacing up your sneakers and getting lost on a path and experiencing that elusive “runner’s high.”

It’s no surprise that running is healthy, but just how does it help your body, exactly?

Health Benefits of Running

1. Better cardiovascular health

Heart problems can occur when blood vessels become too stiff and narrow, which is a process called atherosclerosis. This process causes blood pressure to increase, and this strains the heart muscle over time. Cardio helps strengthen the heart (it’s a muscle, after all!) and improves blood circulation. In fact, research shows people who run regularly are less likely to die from heart disease.

2. Weight management

This health benefit of running is not a secret. Many people run to help burn calories and manage their weight. After all, half an hour of jogging burns about 460 calories (for a 150-lb person), so it may aid in weight loss or help keep you at your preferred weight.

3. Stronger bones

Fun fact: Your bones are living tissue. They go through a constant process of losing old cells and replacing them with new cells. As you age, you start to lose more than you gain, which leads to age-related bone loss.

The good news is that exercise helps reduce age-related bone loss. Regular jogging may strengthen bones and reduce your risk of osteoporosis. If running or even jogging seems daunting to you, start off with regular walks, and then work your way up.

4. Improved mental health and stress levels

Some runners hit the treadmill simply because it makes them feel good. As you may already know, running releases endorphins. These help boost mood, improve energy, and help lower your stress levels. With regular running, you may notice an improvement in your mood and day-to-day life.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re just getting started. Take it slow, and schedule breaks when needed. Ready, set, go!