Happy National Running Day, SHE sisters!
We thought we’d celebrate the day with a fun blog post about some of the amazing benefits running has for you! You probably know that it’s great for you. Most exercise is! But while we know a lot of things are great for us, in the craziness of life, we often let them slide without a little nudge now and then. Well, here’s your nudge! We’re here to remind you just how great running can be. Especially since you can do it any time, anywhere. Here at SHE, we are committed to helping create a community of strong women, and taking care of your body keeps you strong and capable of making a bigger impact on the world!
5 BENEFITS OF RUNNING
1) Running burns a ton of calories. It burns more than any other form of exercise except cross-country skiing. For a 30-minute run, women burn about 345 calories! The best part is your body doesn’t stop when you stop; your body does something called “excess post oxygen consumption” (EPOC) or an after-burn. The number of calories your body burns after a run is significantly higher than it would be normally, up to 37%. So if you burned 345 calories on your run, you would burn an additional 138 calories after.
2) Running works a wide range of muscles. Frequent running may not make you look like a body-builder, but it does slim you down and firm your muscles up. It works your calves, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, heart (the most important muscle!), and core. If you’re new to running, you may see an increase in muscle size but if you’ve been running for awhile, then it’s going to do more toning than building. Because you’re burning a lot of calories and fat, you might even see an increase in muscle tone in your arms and shoulders!
3) The runner’s high is real - and awesome! Running and feeling good might seem like opposites to non-runners, but stand at the finish line of a race and ask people how they’re feeling, and they’ll tell you about the runner’s high! That’s because the brain is pumping out feel-good chemicals like endorphins and endocannabinoids. You might be familiar with endorphins, but endocannabinoids are the biggest reason behind the runner’s high! They’re chemicals released in cells anywhere in the body that make you feel calmer, and can also help inhibit pain and make you run farther and happier! The best way to get the runner’s high is to push yourself (so an easy jog won’t always get you that high) but not to kill yourself (you don’t have to run a marathon).
4) It’s not actually bad for your knees! A study performed by Arthritis Care & Research, proved that running did not increase your risk for osteoarthritis and that running is not detrimental to the knees. In fact, those who ran the most had the least amount of knee pain! Does that mean running can actually be GOOD for your knees?! Yes!
5) You can do it right now. Slip on a pair of tennis shoes and go for a couple laps around your neighborhood! You don’t need fancy equipment, a gym membership, or anything except your body! That's one of the coolest things about running. Consider leaving your watch at home so you can focus more on how your body feels and not the time you’re getting. Also, run / walking is totally allowed!
If it’s been awhile since you ran a mile (high school gym class, anyone?) then feel free to mix up how much you’re walking and jogging. Walking is still a healthy form of exercise with plenty of benefits to you! Try the Run/Walk Method: Run 30 seconds, walk 1-2 minutes.
And if you find your brain is being resistant, simplify running all the way down to something like: I’ll put my running shoes on and run to the mailbox. That counts even if it means running down the hall of your apartment building or your dorm to the mail room! Make it so simple your brain can’t argue with - and then you’ll usually end up running farther! Getting the running shoes on is the key.
If you do go out and celebrate National Running Day, be sure to let us know! We’re cheering for you!
~ The SHE Team
Burfoot, Amby. "Runners Have Much Healthier Knees Than Scientists Thought." Runner's World. Rodale Inc., 27 June 2016. Web.
Fetters, Aleisha. “The Science Behind Your Runners High.” ACTIVE, Active LLC, 7 May 2014, www.active.com/running/articles/the-science-behind-your-runner-s-high?page=2.
Cespedes, Andrea. “What Muscles Does Running Build?” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 7 May 2017, www.livestrong.com/article/111142-muscles-running-build/. Accessed 6 June 2017.