One of the fastest-growing sports in terms of participation is running. Over fifty million people in the United States were jogging or running in the year 2020. During the epidemic, there was a 65% rise in the number of people who ran or jogged for exercise.
During the same period of time, people who used running apps logged around 37.3% more miles. It is reasonable to assume that a significant number of people enjoy running. So, what are the benefits and drawbacks of participating in this sport?
Pros of running
A study that was conducted and published in 2017 by Duck-Chul Lee discovered that running has a major impact on your longevity, with up to a 25% to 40% lower risk of dying at an early age. Additionally, runners have a life expectancy that is approximately three years higher than non-runners. You’ve probably heard that going for runs might be beneficial to your cardiovascular health, but what exactly does it mean?
To put it simply, cardiovascular health refers to how well your heart and blood vessels are functioning. When you increase the rate of your heartbeat, a greater volume of blood will be pumped into your muscles. This indicates that more blood, and hence more oxygen and nutrients, are traveling directly to the areas of your body that require them.
Running will also result in a decreased heart rate when you are at rest. When you are at rest, this is the number of times that your heart will beat within one minute. This is a helpful indicator of the state of your health overall. In general, a lower score indicates that your heart is performing more effectively and efficiently.
Running is an excellent way to improve muscle and strength while also increasing bone density. According to the findings of a study conducted at the University of Missouri, high-impact exercises like jogging can boost bone density. If your bones are strong, your body will be better supported, which will improve your posture and balance.
You are probably aware that your body fixes itself when you are sleeping. If you want to improve the quality of your sleep, running may help. This indicates that you will heal more quickly and effectively as a result.
One other advantage of running is that it can be helpful in reducing excess body fat. According to the educational resource provided by the American Council on Exercise, running is the activity that burns the most calories per minute. Who came in second place? Jogging.
You can reduce the amount of fat in your body by increasing the number of calories you burn. The proportion of fat in your body reveals how much of your total body mass is made up of fatty tissue. The optimal range of percentages for your body will be established based on your age.
Let’s not overlook the positive effects on our minds! The term “runner’s high” is certainly familiar to you. This is the part of your body where your brain releases endorphins, which have a stimulant effect on the rest of your body. As a consequence of this, running is an excellent method for stress management.
When we talk about the chemicals in the brain, we may say that running can prevent cognitive decline. Because of this activity, the chemical synthesis that is responsible for memory and learning is increased. Last but not least, running is easily accessible.
It requires very minimal equipment. You won’t need much more than a good pair of running shoes. When you run outside, you can not only obtain a healthy dose of vitamin D, but you can also get in touch with nature.
Cons of running
As can be seen, running has a wide range of positive effects, not only on the body but also on the mind. However, you should be aware that there are a few drawbacks to this.
To begin, it places a lot of strain on the joints that support your body’s weight. This problem can become even more severe if you already have joint issues or are carrying excess weight around with you.
Runners frequently suffer from aches and pains, including shin splints and knee soreness. The most common cause of running injury is excessive mileage. This includes training faults such as using orthotics, training at too high of an intensity, or training at too rapid of a pace.
To avoid this, start off by strolling and gradually increase both your speed and your distance. You will get to the point where you are able to run at some point.
The incorrect form is another factor that can contribute to injuries, particularly in the lower body. Your hips, knees, and ankles are all included in this category. Run Repeat found that between 37 and 70 percent of runners are injured every year. Before beginning to run, make sure you have the good form down. Including strength training as part of your routine can be an effective way to reduce the risk of injury.
Which format is appropriate?
Beginning with a neutral stance, leaning slightly forward while standing tall. Pay close attention to your shoulders as you begin to move. Take a moment to return to neutral if they start to nudge closer to your ears.
- Keep both of your arms straight at all times.
- They swing from front to back when you run.
- Try not to clench your hands, and maintain a loose upper body.
- Learn how long your strides should be, and try not to bounce.
- Pay attention to how you’re breathing.
- Use your nose to take a breath in and your mouth to exhale.
- It requires work. Always keep in mind that proper form is crucial when exercising.
When unsure, pay attention to your body. In case of a problem, get medical help. Having said that, you must always get medical advice before beginning any new fitness regimen.
So, is it worth it?
Yes! It is inevitable that there will be both positives and negatives associated with every given sport. In a nutshell, the benefits, which include improvements to cardiovascular health, an increase in the number of calories expended, and positive mental effects, much exceed the drawbacks.
To protect yourself from getting hurt when running, ease into a routine and concentrate on maintaining good form. In no time at all, you will realize why there are so many individuals going for runs, just as everyone else does!
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