There are many different ways to include exercise and movement into your everyday routine: walking, swimming, cycling, and so on, but many people believe that running is one of the very best sports for keeping you happy and healthy. Here are some of the reasons why running has such a great reputation:
1. Running not only helps to keep the heart healthy, but can also work to keep the entire body functioning well. Research shows that the average runner has a 45 percent lower chance of cardiovascular mortality than a non-runner, and that it could add 3 years to their life expectancy.
2. Runners have between 40% and 100% greater VO2max than non-runners. VO2max is the amount of oxygen your body can take in and utilise. It is believed that a higher VO2max level could help to reduce the risk of high cholesterol, and help to maintain a healthy body weight.
3. Running isn’t just good for the body, it’s good for the mind, too. In fact, studies have found that runners tend to feel happier and more content than non-exercisers and weight lifters. The findings are similar for aerobic dancers, suggesting that the cardio nature of running is useful.
4. Runners typically have a lower risk of osteoarthritis, and a reduced need for hip replacement during middle age. Experts believe that this is due to the excellent weight management aspects of running, as a healthy weight means there is less stress and pressure placed upon the joints.
Somewhat ironically, although running could benefit the joints, it could also damage them if running is not undertaken properly. Always wear good, supportive running shoes, and rest the body thoroughly between periods of activity. It’s also worth taking measures to protect the joints, such as upping your intake of cod liver oil to lubricate the joints, and trying rosehip to reduce any internal inflammation.