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It’s Global Running Day! 6 Great Reasons To Start (Because It’s Never Too Late)

Here are the benefits of running that can improve your health, even if you start today!

If you have ever tried to lose weight or improve your overall health, it is highly likely that running was one of the suggestions. Well, today is Global Running Day, which means it is the perfect day to go on a run. Running offers a plethora of benefits that can aid your overall health, even if it’s just a quick ten-minute jog. Physicians and health professionals have been recommending running for years and there is a lot of science  behind their reasoning.

We’re here to let you know why running can be great for you and 6 benefits of starting the exercise today! And don’t worry – if for any reason running really isn’t in the cards for you, you can get all of these benefits from walking, too.

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1. Running can improve your mental health

Feeling depressed or anxious can be a debilitating state to be in and sometimes it’s hard to pull yourself out of it. But running has been proven to manage the symptoms of depression or anxiety. “Exercise has a dramatic antidepressive effect,” David J. Linden, a neurobiologist and author, tells Johns Hopkins Medicine. “It blunts the brain’s response to physical and emotional stress.”

Running also releases endorphins, which are known to help ease physical discomfort, hence the phrase, “runner’s high.” But these endorphins can also cause your mind to relax, giving it a break from negative thoughts and depressive moods.

2. Running can improve cardiovascular health: Global running day

You’ve probably heard that running can improve heart health — and that is completely accurate! Running has the ability to strengthen your heart’s muscles, ultimately increasing your heart’s overall efficiency.

It has also been proven that runners have “larger, thicker left ventricles than do sedentary controls,” meaning that a runner’s heart may be more efficient than that of a person who does little to no exercise. Global Running Day can be the perfect day to start running and get that heart pumping!

3. Running can help you sleep better

woman stretching in bed

If you’re having a hard time sleeping, running might be just the solution. The activity increases the production of melatonin in your body, which regulates your sleep-wake cycles. But running can also help to regulate your body temperature, which is essential for falling asleep easily.

4. Running can improve your memory: Global running day

It might seem silly: how can running correlate with your memory? But studies show that running produces irisin, a hormone produced from exercise, which can improve cognition once it enters the brain.

Another study found that active people are far less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia than people who do not exercise at all.  

5. It can also improve knee health

Commonly, knee pain is a complaint among runners, but the activity can actually improve your knee health. A study suggests that people who run are less likely to develop knee arthritis than people who do not exercise.

However, if you do have knee pain while running, try switching up the surface you run on, as soft surfaces can provide better running conditions. You can also opt for a different pair of shoes after about 500 miles, and try exercises to strengthen your legs and hips. 

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6. Running can also be your social hour: Global running day

women running together; global running day

Today, running clubs are all the rage. If you’ve been looking to get involved in an activity and meet some new people, joining a running club might be the best solution for you. This activity is a great way to make friends whether you’ve just moved to a new town or you’ve lived there your whole life.

If you’re looking to get started, head to your local running store to see if there are any signups to join a runner’s club. You can also join Facebook groups if you’d prefer to do your research online. Try searching “your town’s name + runners” to find the best group for you. Lastly, you can download the Strava app, an online fitness community that can point you in the right direction!  

Bonds between running mates often form easily, as attempting a difficult activity can bring you closer together! And Global Running Day is the perfect excuse to get up and get going!

Keep reading for more on exercise below!

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How Long Can You Balance on One Leg? What the Answer Reveals About Your Health + Longevity

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