7 Reasons to Fall in Love with Running
Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day or not this year, February 14th is a good reason to fall in love with running again.
If you’re a lifelong runner it’s easy to take running for granted and sometimes even become obsessed with race times. Only when running is taken away from you – through injury or another reason – do we fully appreciate all the benefits running brings.
Gives you headspace
The best way to clear your head of worries is to go for a run. Whatever you’re stressed about will seem slightly less daunting after a run. You may even find that some of your best ideas come to you either on a run or afterwards.
Previously it was believed that the feeling of calm and reduced anxiety that many of us feel after a run was due to endorphins. However according to David J. Linden, Professor of Neuroscience at John Hopkins University of Medicine, it is due to endocannabinoids – biochemical substances like cannabis but naturally produced by the body.
Keeps your brain sharp
According to Professor Linden, the mental benefits don’t stop when you finish your run – running can spark growth of new blood vessels to nourish the brain. This can lead to an overall improvement in brain performance and prevent cognitive decline, resulting in better memory, focus and task-switching abilities.
Helps you appreciate nature and changing of the seasons
If you’re lucky enough to be able to run in the countryside or in a park, you may notice birdsong and the beauty of nature on a run. Running also keeps you in touch with the changing seasons because if you run all year round, you’re bound to experience fog, drizzle, snow, wind and intense heat.
Improves your health
Running for only 10 minutes a day reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact, runners reduce their risk of dying from heart disease by half. Running also reduces your resting heart rate.
It’s so easy to fit into any lifestyle
Unlike most sports that either require either gear or access to sports facilities or both, you can run alone in most places at any time you like with nothing more than some simple kit and trainers.
Can open up a whole new social life
If you join a running club, you’ll find running opens up a whole new social life. Most clubs offer at least two weekday sessions and one weekend session, as well as club races and social events. It’s an excellent way of meeting new people from all walks of life.
It’s a great way to explore your own neighbourhood and discover new parts of the world
One runner, Michael Shanks, recently made the news by running through every single road in the city of Glasgow. Even if you don’t want to run down every street near you, running is still a great way to get to know your own neighbourhood. If you’re in a completely different part of the country or world, running is often the best way way to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings.
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