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Benefits of Running

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Updated June 27, 2014

Why Run?

Ask 10 runners why they run and you'll most likely get 10 different responses. Many of the reasons people run fall into the following categories:

  • Running for Health Benefits
    Studies have shown the health benefits of running to be tremendous, reducing your chances of everything from the common cold to cancer. Running is among the best aerobic exercises for physical conditioning of your heart and lungs. It helps ensure the efficient flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body, things that are proven to help to decrease the risk of a heart attack.

    Running -- like other types of exercise -- is a great stress-reliever and may even relieve mild depression. Many runners enjoy reaching the "runner's high" -- that euphoric, clear, and calm state they feel after a long run.

    Research shows that healthy adults who exercise regularly are generally happier than those who don't. As a runner, you'll likely feel more energetic and creative.

    Running helps you improve your fitness and stamina. As a weight-bearing exercise, running also increases bone density, which can fend off osteoporosis.

    Although running is a healthy activity, you should get medical clearance before you start a running program.

  • Running for Weight Loss
    Weight loss is one of the biggest reasons why people start running. As one of the most vigorous exercises out there, running is an extremely efficient way to burn calories and drop pounds. Running burns about 100 calories per mile for a 150-pound person. Because running also builds muscle mass, your resting metabolism will increase, which means that you'll burn more calories at rest. If you combine running with a healthy diet, you'll definitely notice a difference in the way you look and feel.

    More:
    Tips for Runners Trying to Lose Weight
    Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
    How to Control Your Portion Sizes
    7 Secrets of Skinny Runners
    How Can I Get Over a Weight Loss Plateau?

  • Running for Social Benefits
    Many people run because they like to socialize and be part of a running community. Running clubs and charity training groups give people the opportunity to meet and train with other people. Some runners participate in local events or travel to race destinations with their running buddies.

    More:
    Benefits of Group Training
    Find a Running Group
    How to Find Romance Through Running
    5 Ways to Be a More Social Runner

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