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9 Reasons Running is Good for You

Running is good for you, right? At first I thought it was stupid. It was tough, you got sore, and I could find dozens of reasons not to run. But there are also a lot of reasons why running is good for you, and here are 3 of them.

Health

1. Bones
The human bones are made to accommodate the demands placed upon them. When just sitting all day long, at the office, in the car, in front of the TV, we allow our bones to grow weaker. But if you run regularly, they meet resistance, which will lead to stronger bones.

2. Heart
Getting your heart pumping a little faster for let’s say 30 minutes every day, and especially if you also include interval training is something your doctor, and not to forget you, will thank yourself for later. Training your heart and strengthening your cardiovascular system will lower your pulse while resting and sleeping; therefore also make you more fit to handle stress.

3. Balance
When running outdoors, you have to avoid and deal with curbs, dogs, stones, branches and other miscellaneous objects. These changes in direction and speed will strengthen your balance, so next time you stand in front of the door with 3 shopping bags and need to unlock your door with your key, this everyday manoeuvre will feel easier to handle.

Appearance

4. Posture
If you run the right way, you quite automatically will lower your shoulders, use your arms to help pumping energy into your running pace and tilt your pelvis a little forward. All of this will raise your head and prolong your spine. So instead of looking like some sad, bent slave at the office, you are now a runner with your eyes set at the horizon, always looking for a challenge.

5. Waistline
Running uses a lot of energy, and few other sports or activities are more efficient if you want to drop, let’s just say 10 pounds from your waistline. And especially if you include a few extra exercises while running, like suddenly running up a hill, or jumping over low fences parkour-style, you soon need to get down to your nearest mall for a new pair of trousers.

6. The sun
When running outside, naturally the sun will sometimes stop by and say hello, rewarding you with a healthy color, to match your new slim and fit you.

Psychological

7. Yes, I can!
Ok, I won’t lie to you. It’s not easy at first. You will experience a burning sensation in your chest (it’s your lungs getting surprised), possibly a new sort of pain in your feet and legs (wow, we have to work now!) and you might get a headache, a pain in your back – or easily said, everything in your body might protest against this new lever of activity. But after a few trips, your body will adjust, and what seemed impossible (run 15 miles? Are you nuts?) Will soon be something you can easily manage. The first time you reach the goal you have set, you will be surprised how you feel. Ever heard of “runners high”? Get out there and experience it for yourself.

8. I believe I can fly
There is something about running that just feels right. Something eternal, like being a tough Greek from ancient times, that could run for days, without even getting exhausted. Running means beating the normal pace of the city, and very few things feels better than beating the bus in regards of getting from A to B – just watch those losers sitting stuck in traffic.

9. Endurance
Sometimes it will rain. Your foot might ache. You feel tired, and the wind is blowing in the wrong direction. But you still keep running, and after another dreadful 25 minutes you enter your destination and relax. So, tomorrow morning, when you have to wait a few extra minutes for the elevator, or the meeting drags on for an extra hour, who cares? I mean, remember yesterday evening. That was tough, this is nothing! You kind of take the sexy “who cares” attitude on you.

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68 thoughts on “9 Reasons Running is Good for You

  1. Doyle

    I would agree with all the above but if you haven’t done it for a while, sneak up on your running lifestyle by walking on a variety of surfaces first to condition your muscles and joints. Then maybe try run-walk combinations as you build your capacity.

    Reply
  2. suze

    Nice to see someone writing about the positive aspects of running. I never thought I’d be able to run far, but can now run for 15k and not have any pain! It’s the best way to start the day and a great excuse for getting out and about!

    Reply
  3. Alex Kay

    Doyle that is a great idea, unfortunately not everyone is a born runner.
    But I am sure everyone can become one!

    And Suze, 15k sounds great, and you’re definately right about getting out and about; once you’ve started running you suddenly see your part of town, or wherever you live, in a totally new light. When you run, you become much more aware of the things around you. Thanks for your comments guys!

    Reply
  4. Eric

    Alex:

    Good post. I’ve taken up running for the last 11 months. When I started, I measured my workout in minutes; now I measure in miles. Everyone knows reasons 1 – 6 above, but not everyone appreciates 7 – 9. You’ve done a good job highlighting them.

    I’ll leave you with a thought from Edward Stanley:
    “Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”

    And a bonus from Thoreau:
    “Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul the work of the soul, and good for either the work of the other.”

    Eric Napier
    http://www.quotationcollection.com

    Reply
  5. Alex Kay

    Hey Limitless, thanks a lot, and you’re welcome!

    Eric, that sounds fantastic! Thanks, yes not enough people think about the Psychological benefits of running. Great quotes too!

    Reply
  6. Kieran

    Yep, \great article. I agree with everything in it although I’ve never ran myself for marathons or races. I like a beer and a good social life, but I’ve always balanced it with exercise, particularly running. I like to live, but I also like to be in shape to live, and running has always supplied me with the wherewithal to live. In fact, much of my life, especially times of emotional and psychological distress, were helped and even cured by running and I’m not afraid to admit that. I’ve t ried other forms of exercise but running is always the one I go back to, and I think it comes back to me, too.

    Reply
  7. Lewi

    ya i really like this article i just graduated high school, and am planning on joining the army but i have to lose 35lbs first…it is 12:27 AM, and i just got done running 2 miles i think i will start running two miles everynight hopefully to lose that fat and look good with higher confidence! thanks alex i read the whole thing

    Reply
  8. philip

    I love to both run and worship the Lord at the same time. It’s really a great way to start the day, and it helps me to maintain the right perspective on the cares of this temporary world.

    Reply
  9. Tony VanDerlinden

    Hi,
    For me running is a love/hate type thing … I love running intervals during my 2 and 3 mile runs, and when I’m done I feel sooo good and only another runner knows that feeling! Tony

    Reply
  10. Clare

    I have started running after investing in a Wii Fit, which serious runners may well giggle over. However I am running for 30 mins a day, on the spot, covering about 6K in that time and I am loving it. So I am reading up on the benefits, feeling them in myself and actually feeling like I may soon have the confidence to do it in public. I never would have donned shorts and gone running outside before, in case i conked out and collapsed in the park. Now I am confident my body can do it, I am raring to go! It makes me feel great, i actually keep wanting to run all the time…weird…i think like you say it is innate in us to run maybe, as i feel like I have found something I was previously missing.

    Reply
  11. Tony

    This is my first time visiting this site.I wanted to find out the benefits of running and this site did justice for my question.I was inspired with some of the comments as well. I workout at the gym but I just started running out doors in my community and I do 1 miles per day.Thanks again for your help.

    Reply
  12. Tony

    This is my first time visiting this site.I wanted to find out the benefits of running and this site did justice for my question.I was inspired with some of the comments as well. I workout at the gym but I just started running out door in my community and I do 1 mile per day.Thanks again for your help.

    Reply
  13. Alex

    Tony, you’re very welcome!

    Next time, just one comment is enough! Hehe… but two of course makes a bigger first impression.

    Anyway, good luck with the running!

    Alex

    Reply
  14. Ms. E

    I agree with Clare about Wii Fit. I also am running for 30 minutes without a treadmill on Wii Fit. I did 4.5 miles today. I am also running in Crocs. Yes, running at home on your carpeted floor with Crocs works!!

    And there is something internal about running. I felt like I could never do it before either. With Crocs though, there’s so much cush it helps your feet.

    Reply
  15. james

    hey thx alot im only 15 but i like to excercise and i just wanted to check the benefits of running but im diabetic so i mainly run on a treadmill about 2 times a day or so i usually jog about 1000m or something and i like to use weights to but i have a hard time losing the fat on my hips and on my stomach so please can u help me i would aprecieate it cheers james btw: this helped me alot thanks

    Reply
  16. Joe Watkins

    I have to agree with everything that has been said here, especially the psychological reasons. From excessive over-eating throughout my teenage years, I entered my twenties as a very unfit, moderately overweight guy with little confidence in my appearance. About 9 months ago I started running – small distances first but eventually building up to 10km as a regular running distance (with cycling afterwards) and 10 miles as an occasional test. I dropped 25kg in the first three months and have dropped another 5kg since then, maintaining my weight at a healthy 75-78kg (I’m 6ft 4)

    I could not recommend running (or indeed any exercise but especially running) highly enough to people who were looking to get in shape or improve their physical fitness, even if only slightly

    Oh – to add another reason to the one above which I think is sorely missed. Running helps you sleep better. By having a high amount of physical exertion during the day, your body is more naturally prepared for good quality sleep and thus you will find yourself able to sleep better, get up earlier and find that you still have more energy for the next day. (My GP told me that)

    Reply
  17. aaron

    I AGREE WITH MOST OF THE ARIELLE HOWEVER If you have a injury like a sore foot or leg DONT NOT just keep trying to run the next day and soo on rest it.!

    well said

    Reply
  18. Alexis

    i am 11 years old and im a cheerleader at a elementry school i am very good at what i do tryouts where 2 days ago and i made it….! we hadnt had a practice yet but when tryouts were starting daily afternoons when itwas over i felt a pain in my inner legs and my back and my hips and my side its been hurting sence then. i felt like i was burning calories. i am chubby in my stomach but only a little when i suck it in i still have that chunky fatning at the very bottom my legs are the same way i want to really skinny and i dont know how!!!!!!!!!! :[

    Reply
  19. shane

    yeah bro not sure bout runnin 15kms but i did a 3km, run about 2 weeks back and i found i reached a state of a peak where i could run at a fairly quick pace and jus keep going but insted of breathing in the nose i was breathin in my mouth and out through my nose , its was like jus hittin a mental plane, anyways jus sumthin i come by when i run, take it easy cheers

    Reply
  20. Arlan

    started running a week ago…
    feels great )
    i am a beginner
    i do 2.5 miles 4 times a week.
    hope I will get better.

    Reply
  21. mee,

    i really enjoyed this article.
    But i was wondering if running about 1500m a day is enough?
    cause lots of these people are running like 2 miles, which is great. But am i running enough, or should i run more?
    Also, how long would it take to lose about 10 pounds if i run about every other day?

    Reply
  22. Alex

    Gloria, no, it’s never too late.

    Although, you may want to start out slowly, moving gradually faster when you feel ready.

    Good luck!
    Alex

    Reply
  23. jane

    I found this article really helpfull, Im getting married next year and want to lose weight and theres no way I’d pay for a gym membership, I started running a while back but stopped, now started again, only doing about 2 and half miles 5 times a week but it is getting easier, it’s good to get out for a run after you’v been stuck at work all day relieve some stress :)

    Reply
  24. Glory

    Hey! I’m in the military so i started running because I had to! They make you run in formations so you have to run as slow as the slowest person in your “group”. Now that I am deployed, I don’t have to run with others, I get to run by myself. I run 5k in 19 minutes every other day, it feels great! Please note, a year ago (before I enlisted) I couldn’t run 1 mile!!!! It took me about 10 minutes lol.. Looking back, I feel horrible for my old self. All I can say is TRY and it will happen, this article is great, it gives you new reason to keep running! Loved it Alex, good job!

    Reply
  25. Janice

    Your article is so great, Im loving it!

    I run 3 miles everyday, but recently I started running 4 1/2, I am experiencing what they call “running trots”, but now that I know what to do to prevent it, I am great…. Running has become my cup of coffee, with a nice book , in the morning… I love it…..

    Reply
  26. Mike Hardin

    I am not sure how old your post is. It says September, but I don’t see a year. If it’s ancient forgive the late comment, I just found it.

    I found the post by doing a Google search for “Is running good for you?” Most of the benefits you mentioned I was already aware of. However, you didn’t deal with any of the down sides, particularly, running related injuries. That’s what sent me searching. I wanted to rebut someone who said, “Quit running!!!!! The only thing I ever hear about runners is how they are always hurt. I really don’t think it can be that good for you.”

    Do you know of any articles that weigh the benefits against the risks?

    Reply
  27. Kevin

    Dude Running is The Best thing any person can try doing , i started about a month ago and i thought it was lame , but i kept trying , it has really become something i really enjoy , something i love , something i can as i age , i run way more than i first started doing , it has also helped me lose fat and show more muscle , im trying to get a 6 pack, now and running, doing crunches , and push ups everyday will not make my goal so hard to accomplish. By the way this artical was really outstanding.

    Reply
  28. Keith

    I have been running now for almost a year, I run on the hard road surface, and I do about 7km five nights a week, I allow weekends for muscle recovery, when I run, it’s run and walk, mostly running around 70% of the distance, I just can’t get my legs to do the 7km without walking some of the time, I’m no stranger to punishment, I used to run for miles as a younger man, does this have something to do with my age (I’m 50) I think also the weather conditions here in the Philippines may have something to do with it (25c to 35c), but when I have finished around 40 minutes later, I recover fairly fast (10 minutes).

    I run mainly in the evenings, when the heat of the sun has cooled down a little, I want to run in the Manila Marathon (45km) but if I can’t get over this 7km wall, I don’t stand a chance at 45km, what the heck am I doing wrong?

    All the best from Keith.

    Reply
  29. Alex

    Keith, the key to progression is progress. It doesn’t have to be distance, it can also be speed! Try to run without walking in between (if you feel that you’re up to it – an injury might set back your progress, so beware…)

    You can start out by running just a couple of kilometres, and slowly adding the mileage. Remember that progress can be both distance and speed; both things should come if you run more and have your general health in check. Five nights a week might also be a little too much, perhaps run only three or four times, but run harder/faster/longer when you run.

    Take care,
    Alex

    Reply
  30. michelle

    shane said: “…insted of breathing in the nose i was breathin in my mouth and out through my nose”

    i read about it somewhere, and it’s not good actually, you have to do it other way round. Get the air through your nose, and release it through your mouth. The air filter is in your nose, and not in your mouth, and in the nose there are “things” that will warm the air before it getting in your body, something like that.

    I’m a beginner runner as well, since i’m going to married next year as well. I hope i can get rid of some fat by then.

    good luck to you all, and keep running! It warms your cheeks!

    Reply
  31. michelle

    Mike hardin:The only thing I ever hear about runners is how they are always hurt. I really don’t think it can be that good for you.”

    and this is what i found on the net:

    It is important to note that there can be some risks associated with running. The constant pounding on your knees, back and hips when you run can take a great toll on your joints over time. Your joints must absorb approximately three times your weight with each stride. This can cause damage and injury if you aren’t in proper shape to handle such stress. Runners who run more than about 20 miles per week greatly increase the risk of injury due to this constant impact.

    so, if you just run 3-5 times a week, a few miles, or just 30-60 minutes every time, than it’s okay right?

    I mean, which sport is totally safe? every sport has the risk for blessure and injuries.

    Reply
  32. Sarah

    I just turned 19, and have NEVER been a runner.. or very sporty at that. I’ve always been in good shape due to genetics.. but lately i’ve felt so lazy and the idea just came upon me to go for a run. I cant run far, and i cant run fast, and I take breaks to walk because it is hard on the lungs. I feel a burning sensation like you mentioned, and feel a slight headache. Just coming back i’m really shakey and tired!! But I hope to keep going though, and hope I can progress. This article helped me out and now I have faith i can do it! I will keep going. :)

    Reply
  33. Rick

    This will probably amaze some readers here but I started jogging last July at 47 years and 290 lbs. I worked my way up to 3 miles then 3.5 per run.

    On Halloween I jogged nine miles for the first time in my life and just last Wednesday I did ten miles! Last Saturday I ran in my first 5k.

    I’m sure there aren’t many folks my age and weight jogging five to six times per week but I am hooked! I get high and feel great!

    I don’t need any equipment, no special training, just som good running shoes and my iPod!

    Reply
  34. James Moore

    Question…is it correct to run on the balls of your feet…ie..your toes? and not your heels? I saw a guy running by me today and it looked like he was running on his toes…he was gliding and it looked like he wasn’t even trying…it looked effortless for him. for me it’s hard..every step feels like 220 lbs on every joint…I wanna be a good runner….I wanna be able to run 5 miles a day without stopping….

    Reply
  35. Ashley Enderson

    what if you have flat feet and it keeps effecting your running? i keep getting stress fractures

    Reply
  36. Aaron Baldwin

    I have started running 5 miles a day and have experienced fabulous results. I am very excited, and ready for my next challenge. I really enjoyed this article and comments posted.

    Reply
  37. Aaron Baldwin

    Any suggestion for training for a marathon? Like I said I have been running for about 2 weeks; 5 miles a day. Or is that too much too soon?

    Reply
  38. Eric

    I used to run about 5 years ago. I started with a pair of converse basketball shoes and a plan on a sheet of paper from a running store(I regret not buying the running shoes at first 100 dollars seemed like a lot; a month later I got the shoes) Anyway I was over weight 197 lbs at 5’6″ and was huffing and puffing doing run and walk and I slowly built up to 4 miles a day and my farthest run was 9 miles. But this second time around is a lot easier for me though I am starting slowly again to avoid injury and I enjoy it and hope to keep up through out my life I am 45. Visit a running store near you it will save you a lot of time and pain because usually they are operated by people that love running and have a lot of knowledge. I frequent Hanson’s running shop in michigan but you could contact them on the web and order equipment. Keep on running.

    Reply
  39. Jose

    Great article, I lobve running and now I must comeback to it little by little and then stay with it as a life style for the longest time.

    Keep walking and running, it really makes you fell good.

    Reply
  40. Dude

    The best way i got in shape was avoiding using my car for trips less than 8 city blocks. It forced me to walk these short distances but walk them so often that i got in excellent walking shape from there (even though i looked goofy at times in dress clothes doing it) i would run the last 3 blocks to my apartment dress clothes home LOL. Its a tip Bruce Lee used in his book. Park your car a few blocks away save that buck on parking in the convienient spot and just work up from there :).

    Reply
  41. Angelique

    I just started running a couple of weeks ago, I am 36y old, and I really want to get into this, my husband and I do this together which helpes a lot for motivation.
    I have a hard time breathing still, aspecially on really hot days,(I do have a little astma) I’m in Florida, so it get’s very hot.
    I also feel like I don’t have a lot of energy left for anything else. I’m running about 3 to 4 miles every other day, I’m up to a 10.5 min mile if it’s not to hot. (Is that bad?) I try to do some Insanity work outs about 1 or 2x’s a week, because I noticed when I started running and not doing Insanity I was loosing a lot of muscle tone,it almost seems like I’m loosing a bunch of wheight from running and my skin is having a hard time catching up.

    If anyone has any answeres for me, I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks Angelique

    Reply
  42. jmb

    hey doyle,
    I have a question for you, if you are just starting running and are not quiet in shape yet. How long or how many minutes do you think i should run for starters?

    Reply
  43. gavin downs

    It’s great to find a well recognised and searched blog on such a simple/accesable subject. But there is another benefit, I study Tai Chi and Kung fu and quickly associated the ‘runners wall’ with basic meditation. For those of you that are new to running you can work yoursevlves in to a basic meditative state. Runners call this ‘the wall’ it’s when your brain switches off from the pain and exhaustion and your mind clears or intensely focuses. Hold on to this state of mind and be concious of it, if you get in to meditation, projection or the like then this skill can be recalled and utilised from your direct experiernce of running.

    Reply