Benefits of running: 20 reasons why you should start today

Benefits of running

Running is my favorite sport! When I started I wanted to lose a bit weight and get some exercise and clear my head after school. These where just my personal benefits of running.

I started running when I was 18, and yes, I had some breaks in between that I did not run at all, but I kept coming back after a while.

Running helps to clear my head, I feel strong, I’m a morning runner and can not really imagine a better start to the day.

Even after a cruciate ligament tear and an operation in 2007, I completed 4 half-marathons, 3 full marathons, a few 10- and 15-k runs and completed a 100km hike in 24 hours !!

In the following post I will talk about 20 benefits of running and reasons why I would not stop running (as long as my body allows it;) and why you should think about starting running too.

After a half-marathon in Plovdiv/Bulgaria
Morning Run in Krakow/Poland

20 benefits of running​

1: You can run anywhere!

One of my favorite benefit of running: I can do it anywhere! You don’t need to sign a fitness center membership. Just leave your house, apartment or hotel and start running. Could be in a park, on the beach or through a city on your next trip. Make it a sightseeing run.

2: You can run whenever you want​

There are no opening hours for running. Only if you are depending on a fitness center…

You can go early in the morning before going to work or late in the evening after a late night shift. Make sure you wear a spotlight and bright clothing with reflections when you go for a run in the dark so others can see you in time.

If you don’t feel comfortable running alone in the dark find a partner for these hours. It is more fun to run together and it is a great commitment too. You can’t just stay home if you feel to lazy to go 😉

3: You don't need heaps of equipment

I love that I don’t need a lot of extras to start running.

You need good shoes. Do not choose the cheapest option if you want to run regularly, and make sure to go to a sports shop where you can try the shoes and test if they feel comfortable.

You need comfortable pants and a fitness shirt.

And as a woman you need a good sports bra too. That’s it.

You do not need expensive extra equipment, but yes, if you want, you can spend a lot more money on additional equipment.

4: Lose weight

Many people run to lose weight and many succeed.
If you combine a regular running routine with a healthier diet, you will quickly notice a firmer body.

5: Running regularly is good for your heart

Exercise is good for the heart and overall health. People who walk one hour a week can already reduce their heart disease risk by almost half compared to those who do not walk at all.

150 minutes of moderate activity per week would be the recommended exercise time. A little extra exercise can further reduce the risk of heart disease, do not overdo it. As with everything else, too much can be counterproductive.

6: Running is good against stress

If you have a stressful job or life, running regularly can be a real game changer. So much better than sitting on the couch, zapping through bad TV shows and adding more stress. Running outside, breathing fresh air is a great boost to serotonin and can calm you down.

If you are in really bad mood and you go out finishing a challenging interval training, I promise you will feel much better afterwards.

Loving the fresh air in fall and winter...
Half-marathon in Plovdiv

7: You can run all year round

In winter, you do not have to stop running. Just take some precautions and then you are still ready to go.

When it’s really cold, you might want good winter fitness clothing (cotton can be dangerous as it does not wick moisture away).

And if you have asthma, be aware that very cold air can lead to asthma. Therefore, always carry your inhaler with you and consider whether you want to buy a winter mask.

Running at -10 degrees Celsius is still no problem, just think about winter sports. Anything below -15 can be a problem, so you should not run at -20 degrees Celsius.

But if you feel it is too cold for you or the streets are frozen and it’s dangerous to run, you could always join a gym with a lot of treadmills for a couple weeks, months to continue your running sessions in safe and warm conditions.

In summer if it is really hot outside, try to avoid running in the middle of the day. Use the early or late hours to avoid overheating.

8: Running can improve your sleep

Another great benefit of running on a regular basis is that it can improve your sleep.

Running is known to regulate hormones and body temperature. This can reduce stress and normalize the disturbed sleep. You will feel more relaxed in the morning.

9: Running can boost your energy

Another great benefit of running on a regular basis is that it can improve your sleep. 

Running is known to regulate hormones and body temperature. This can reduce stress and normalize the disturbed sleep. You will feel more relaxed in the morning. 

10: Can be good against high blood pressure !

If you know that your blood pressure is a bit too high, try power walking or running. Running is a natural way to lower your blood pressure so you may not need to take any medications.

However, always talk to your doctor if you have high blood pressure. Check the blood pressure regularly. If the blood pressure is very high, you may need medication.

11: If you run regular you can eat more 😉

If you burn more calories, you can eat more! 

So, get off the couch, step into your running shoes, and go. You can enjoy the pasta for dinner without regrets afterwards 😉
(No, honestly, please never ever regret your favorite food, like home made Pizza!)

12: Running can boost your confidence

Exercise, fresh air, burning calories (maybe losing some weight) can definitely boost your self-esteem. 

Exercise makes you stronger, and you can move in a more straightforward and self-confident manner, you look slimmer, and in the end, you feel more confident.

13: Stronger bones

It is a false saying that running is bad for the bones and knees. It can actually make your bones stronger. One reason is that if you go running regularly, you lose weight or keep your weight, and if you are overweight, you may get some knee injuries quicker.

Running is also known to strengthen the cartilage, strengthening the ligaments around the joints. The oxygen flow increases and flushes out toxins.

Some studies even say that getting out on the track could possibly prevent osteoporosis.

14: Running can prevent certain diseases

Many experts agree that regular or regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing diseases.
In a National Cancer Institute study, women of normal weight who reported a high level of activity such as running, aerobics, tennis and cycling had approximately 30 percent lower breast cancer risk compared to women who did not have any strong activity.
(Read more about this at Runners World)

Runners also show a lower risk of stroke, diabetes. And are known to have better immunity to colds and to increase good cholesterol.

15: Better mental health

It is known that the brain releases endorphins while running. These chemicals can improve your mood, outlook and happiness. You may have heard of a so called “runner high”. You can experience this high during or after a run and this feeling can stay a few hours.

16: Meet new likeminded people

You can meet runners and find run groups anywhere. So, if you’ve moved to a new city or just like meeting new and like-minded people, look for a running group nearby. If none exists, start one.

17: Working towards a goals and reach them

Running can actually give you a purpose.  Sometimes you may feel lost because you do not see a sense in life. Having a simple goal like your first 5k or 10k running event or training for a half marathon can give you a sense and improve your mood.
Baltic Sea "Plogging (Picking up litter during your run)" Fun
Runners High Smile after the Berlin Marathon

18: Running is quality "me-time"

If you have a very limited time budget during the day (work, family, social media;), this can be a very important thing to include in your day.

Take this time! It is important for a healthy mind. Turn off the phone, let go of your thoughts, breathe fresh air and watch the sunset or sunrise, and just be with YOU for only one hour a day.

19: Learn while you run

If you don’t like to be only with your thoughts during your run, you can listen to a book, podcast, or even a language learning program during your run.

20: Run for others

You could look for charity runs to run for others. Just search online for charity events in your city or neighboring city and start training! You have a goal to train and do good because you help others. A win-win situation ..

I hope I could inspire some of you to go out and give running a try.

If you are a runner already, what is your favorite benefit of running? Why do you run?

Tell me in the comments below.

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