Start Running to Boost Your Health

The dedication and effort needed to start a new exercise routine can be a challenge. But once the resolution to work out is reached, the choice of exercise can be just as challenging. Although any form of exercise is better than remaining sedentary on the couch, each form of exercise carries its own advantages and disadvantages. Understanding these benefits can help you make the right decisions for your own body type.

If you haven’t considered a running routine as your foray into physical fitness, it’s worth a look. Running provides a number of significant health benefits you won’t get through other forms of exercise, and for busy individuals it provides much more flexibility than other workout regimens. The strength of running is its simplicity, and for anyone just starting out, that’s a great quality to have.

But that’s just the start of its benefits.

woman running in the woods in the fall


Sure, a local gym offers plenty of classes and workout machines to facilitate regular exercise. But getting to the gym isn’t always practical, and even when you can make it, the commute still eats up time. Running, by contrast, can be done wherever you are, and you can start and end every workout on your front porch.

Running promotes weight loss

Not every form of exercise can help you lose weight. To burn fat and slim down, it’s important that your workout be cardiovascular in nature and sustainable for 20 to 30 minutes, if not longer. Running can do exactly that, working out your entire body while elevating the heart rate and burning calories.

Reduced health risks

Running for just 20 minutes a day several times a week can drastically reduce your risk of a number of conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack and diabetes. It also improves the quality of your sleep, and better sleep yields benefits throughout the waking day.

Natural stress relief

Running provides a natural form of tension and stress relief. Over time, this can help keep stress levels lower while elevating your mood. Vigorous exercise triggers endorphins and incites a boost in your energy level along with a sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a good workout.

Racing and socializing

If you stick with running long enough, you can build up your endurance and try a road race or join a local running club. Some runners might be intimidated by racing, but a wide range of fitness levels are present at any race, and the community is generally very supportive of everyone. If you want to try road races on for size, start slow and train for a 5K or another smaller race. Find a beginner training plan online and stick to the schedule all the way through your first race. Once that’s in the bag, consider moving on to something more intense.

Sticking to the Routine

Like any form of exercise, it could take a few weeks for you to get over the initial soreness and struggle of running. That’s why it’s so important that beginners push through their first series of workouts until the running gets not only easier, but genuinely enjoyable. With time and persistence, you could come to find yourself missing running on the days you take off. When that happens, you can take pride in having turned your resolution into a healthy habit.

Holly Hammond

Holly is an Indianapolis native with a passion for living a healthy lifestyle. She is an avid runner, running 12 half marathons last year alone, and a dedicated yogi. When she isn't practicing her headstands, you can find her blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands she loves.

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