8 Benefits of running for beginners infographic

Eight benefits of running every beginner should know about in colourful infographic form.

There are many key benefits to lacing up, heading outside, and pounding the pavement several times each week. Whether you’re considering starting to run, or already run a couple of times per week, chances are you’d like to know what good you are doing for your body.

There are actually many, many positive benefits of running regularly. We’ve taken eight of the most popular and summarised these down below in the form of a colourful infographic.

Related: Running for health: 5 benefits of regular running.

This is an infographic on the 8 benefits of running

1. Weight-loss/maintenance

Regular running combined with a caloric deficit will help you lose weight. However, regular running with a healthy diet will also help you maintain your current weight, all while losing that stubborn body fat. 

Related: Is 30-minutes of running per day enough to help me lose weight?

2. Happiness

Chances are you’ve heard of the ‘runners high.’ This is a feeling of euphoria combined with reduced anxiety and a lessened ability to feel pain, caused by our body releasing endorphins known as ‘feel-good hormones.’ The release of these hormones can help increase happiness during and directly after finishing exercise. As well as this, exercise has been shown to help combat mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

3. Improved mental health

As briefly mentioned, regular exercise has been known to help combat mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. The regular release of endorphins alongside goal setting and in some cases, social interaction work wonders for those battling these conditions.

In fact, the NHS UK has actually started to recommend parkrun for those suffering from conditions such as depression and anxiety. When we break it down, parkrun essentially allows us to:

  • Exercise/run regularly triggering the release of ‘feel-good hormones’
  • Allow us to work towards a goal
  • Encourages social interaction – something which those suffering from these conditions lack
  • Promotes a sense of accomplishment

4. Reduced risk of cancer

study from 2011 mentions regular physical activity (30 mins, 5 days per week) to aid potentially protect against cancer. However, as well as this, it is also suggested that regular physical activity, including running, may influence other aspects of the cancer experience such as the detection, coping, rehabilitation, and even survival following diagnosis. 

5. Stronger bones

Regular physical activity, including running, helps build and maintain strong bones – essential for protecting against conditions such as Osteoporosis. The combination of a healthy diet full of essential nutrients with regular exercise helps build and maintain strong bones regardless of our age or current fitness level. 

However, if you are currently suffering from Osteoporosis, the NHS UK recommends avoiding high impact physical activity, such as running as this may increase the risk of a fracture and or fall. To build further strength while reducing pain, you should look to include a combination of low-intensity endurance training such as cycling with low impact strength training each week.

6. Improved heart health

Another study from 2012 reported regular physical activity to be both an inexpensive and effective strategy to protect against CVD (cardiovascular disease). As well as this, regular running and or physical activity will help build heart strength, protect against strokes, and even heart failure.

7. Increased life expentancy

A further study comparing inactive individuals and participants who exercised for an average of 92-minutes per week revealed a reduced risk of all cause-mortality by up to 14%. Furthermore, those who exercised regularly had a three year longer life expectancy than those currently living an inactive lifestyle.

Regular physical activity, including running for a total of 150-minutes per week (5×30-minutes) will, most likely increase your life expectancy and have you outliving those non-runner friends.

8. Improved quality of sleep 

This one is relatively self-explanatory, regular running and exercise improve both sleep quality and psychological functioning. Exercising throughout the day helps tire us out while improving mental relaxation, essential for getting those high-quality zzz’s.

Related: 5 Tips to improve your quality of sleep.

Related: The importance of sleep as a runner.

Feel free to use our infographic, just be sure to link us and say where you got it from! After all, spreading the word of the many benefits of running should be encouraged.

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