It is wise to take it slow at the start of whatever exercise you decide to take up, but it is especially important with running. That is because running can be an absolute CHORE at first: within a minute you are breathing hard, muscles start screaming after 5 minutes and after 10 you will probably have convinced yourself that you will never bother to run again!
However, if you take it slowly at the start and do not put unreasonable pressure on yourself you may find running’s charms become clear.
- Running improves your cardiovascular fitness. It makes your heart stronger so that it does not have to work as hard to pump blood. It increases your lung capacity. It reduces your risk of heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and some forms of cancer.
- Weight bearing cardio exercise helps increase bone density.
- It makes you feel happier immediately and can even provide temporary relief from depression and anxiety. Running in your own time, away from stresses of day-to-day life and the endorphin rush you get from the activity is a great pick-me-up.
- It improves your memory. Regular aerobic exercise increases the size of your hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for memory and learning, according to a study from the University of British Columbia. What is more, running mitigates the negative effects that chronic stress has on your hippocampus. Periods of prolonged stress weaken the synapses between neurons, causing a negative impact on your processing power- but running keeps these connections firing, according to the journal Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.
- It helps you burn fat and calories for weight loss
- It helps you sleep better.
- Running is a great way to make new friends or meet up with old ones especially if you join one of Granite Falls various run programs.
- Running provides Motivational Targets for your exercise. All too often people have admirable but vague goals in mind when they start exercising, like losing weight or getting fitter, which are poor motivators if you don’t see quick results. With running though, you can set clear targets like running a 5K without stopping, or signing up and preparing for a half or full marathon. If you are an experienced runner, you can work on improving your best times. In the course of hitting those precise targets, you will find that things like weight loss come naturally.
- Running is relatively cheap. You can spend huge amounts on running if you desire, splurging on the best gear and wearable technology, but you don’t have to. Once you have a pair of running shoes and an outfit, you can put your wallet away.
You could join one of our modestly priced running programs here at Granite Falls. We offer age grouped run clubs and individually targeted Run coach programs. New run club sessions begin next week, check our website, app or contact front desk for more information.