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8 key ways running can transform your body and brain

Knee pain

Knee pain is often a sign of over-training or a need to improve form or flexibility. Running actually seems to improve knee health. Researchers found the more people ran, the less likely the were to suffer knee pain or osteoarthritis.

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8 key ways running can transform your body and brain

8 key ways running can transform your body and brain

https://www.businessinsider.co.za/health-benefits-of-running-2018-4?r=US

businessinsider.co.za

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Key Ideas

Running - the miracle drug

Many experts consider exercise to be the closest thing to a miracle drug. Running is one of the simplest ways to exercise. It can lift symptoms of depression and improve your mood. It burns calories, builds strength and improves cardiovascular health.

Knee pain

Knee pain is often a sign of over-training or a need to improve form or flexibility. Running actually seems to improve knee health. Researchers found the more people ran, the less likely the were to suffer knee pain or osteoarthritis.

Running helps young people sleep

Research found that young people that run for 30 minutes, five days a week focus better during the day and sleep better at night.

Running is good for the heart

Running for 5 minutes a day can add years to your life.

Studies found that people who run at least 40 miles per week have healthier hearts than those who run 13 miles a week, indicating that ultramarathons do not stress or scar the heart.

Running can improve your mind

Aerobic exercise, like running, jogging, or brisk walking can keep your mind healthy as you age.

Cognitive benefits include working memory, focus and task switching.

Running makes you resistant to stress

Many studies that focus on running found that aerobic exercise can improve people's ability to handle stress.

Researchers think this may be because aerobic exercise increases levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine, and causes the brain to generate new neurons.

Running increases your lifespan

People who get 30 minutes or more of aerobic exercise on regular bases are less likely to develop certain types of cancer or other forms of illness.

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Benefits

It is never too late to start running. Many take up this sport in their 50s and beyond. To start, you only need a good pair of running shoes and a desire.

Running is a very effective...

Types of running
  • Road Running: running on paved roads, paths, and sidewalks.
  • Treadmill Running: easier than outdoor running and can be gentler on your joints.
  • Racing. Road races can vary from 5Ks to half or full marathons or even ultramarathons. 
  • Trail Running: it takes place on hiking trails, from deserts to mountains.
  • Track Running. Track events include shorter distance races from the 50-yard dash to 400-meter sprints. 
Getting Started
  • Invest in Shoes and Gear. Visit a specialty running store to get fitted for the best shoes for you and check out gear such as running shorts, tops, or tights made of wicking fibers.
  • Stay Safe. Do a warmup before you start, like a walk or an easy jog for 5 min.
  • Follow running safety advice, such as going against traffic when running on roads. Always carry some form of identification with you.
  • Use the Run/Walk Method. Start with running for one minute, then walk for one minute. Try to increase the running intervals over time.
  • Make It Manageable. Keep a conversational pace during each workout. If you can't speak in a full sentence, slow down. Breathe through your nose to get enough oxygen.

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HIIT: high-intensity interval training
HIIT: high-intensity interval training

HIIT workouts generally combine short bursts of intense heart-pounding exercise (during which a person’s heart rate reaches at least 80 percent of its maximum capacity, usually for 1 to 5 minute...

The most well-established benefit of HIIT...

...has to do with heart health: Intervals can boost cardio-respiratory health with a smaller time investment compared to continuous forms of exercise

It's not about superior fat-burning capacity or bigger muscles, but about improved VO2 max, a measure of endurance that calculates the maximum volume of oxygen the body can use.

VO2 max is one of the best predictors of overall health.

HIIT and weight loss

People can burn comparable amounts of calories in HIIT routines lasting, compared to longer continuous exercise routines. But  this doesn't mean that calorie burn translates into weight loss

This is the problem with HIIT, just like with any other form of exercise: it’s much easier to lose weight by cutting calories in your diet than trying to burn excess calories.

Running benefits
Running outperforms walking, cycling and other forms of aerobic exercise when it comes to lengthening life. Runners on average live three years longer compared to non-runners.
Overtraining

If you suffer from lower-body aches or strains, it could be an indication you're not giving yourself enough rest.

Excessive endurance exercise, especially during middle-age and beyond, could lead to damage to the heart.

The best way to exercise

To avoid injury, focus on the perception of effort, not duration.

At least twice a week, exercise at a greater intensity. Alternate between hard and easy days to give your body a chance to recover.