People run for different reasons such as weight loss, fitness or just because they love to run. They drag themselves out of bed, don their fluorescent tops, reflective running belts and reflective running vest and go out in all weathers, to run. They experience pain, frustration and loneliness but they continue to do it – why? Most runners will tell you that it is the joy they get out of running that makes them continue week after week, pushing through the pain and sweat, to achieve the mental and physical goals they have set themselves. The joy runners feel is reflected in their health, fitness and sleep patterns.
All hard physical exercise causes the release of endorphins which produces the feeling of happiness and contentment. Running also helps to control stress levels, leaving the runner in a better frame of mind and more able to start the day on a positive note and ignore all the little irritations in life. Studies have shown that running helps to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s, as well as general cognitive decay. All exercise which boosts the blood flow to the brain, also boosts all mental functions which means more productive work. The general improved circulation also shows in the skin, which is clear and glowing. Studies have shown that running early in the morning is more beneficial than in the evening. People who run in the evening, are also more likely to find an excuse to call off their exercise, especially if they have had a bad day.
Many studies have been performed on the effects of running on sleep patterns. Everyone has confirmed that people, who run on a regular basis, sleep better and longer.
Regular runners are healthier than their couch potato friends. It has been shown that women who run on a regular basis are 30% less likely to develop breast cancer. Running gives your heart a good workout which reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure. It also increases the presence of good cholesterol and therefore helps prevent clogging of arteries. Bone health is improved with regular running which means osteoporosis is less likely to occur. That run will boost the immune system, meaning fewer colds, allergies and digestive disorders. Running regularly helps burn fat and builds muscle and those extra centimetres just fall away. And, it’s wonderful excuse to eat lots of pasta without feeling guilty.
Runners can run anywhere as long as they have their running shoes, clothes and a reflective vest. The world is their oyster; whether it be running through Central Park, the Kalahari Desert, along a beach by the Atlantic Ocean or through the streets of Dallas, there are no restrictions and no boundaries. Some runners say it is a childlike joy that keeps them running. They can run in the mud, splash through puddles, get absolutely soaked in the rain and all this, without any condemnation from their peers. Whatever the reason for starting to run, once it is done on a regular basis, it is a very difficult habit to kick!