Lose weight, reduce stress, enjoy exercise or improve performance.
There are plenty of reasons to run regularly – here are 58 reasons why you should start running right away.
But what are the biggest advantages of running regularly?
And above all: What effects does jogging have on your body and your health?
In this article I will get to the bottom of these questions in more detail!
Running strengthens your immune system
Have you ever noticed how rarely endurance athletes are sick?
At least if the runs are normal.
It is healthy to go running 3-4 days a week or every two days – between 30-40 kilometers a week are completely sufficient.
However, if you run more than 90 kilometers per week, endurance sports can have a negative impact on your health.
Because the so-called open window effect leads to a short-term weakening of your immune system after long or intensive running units.
This means that the window for viruses and bacteria is briefly wide open.
Running keeps you young
So with moderate runs you strengthen your immune system.
But jogging also protects your body cells from aging.
Regular running not only lowers biological age by 15 years.
If you go jogging repeatedly, you will also increase your life expectancy by three years!
This is what researchers from the Hannover Medical School (MHH) found out in a study.
Running strengthens the heart
Repeated endurance training triggers adjustments in the different functional systems of the human organism.
By running regularly you train your cardiovascular system.
The main benefit is the heart muscle, which gets bigger after each running unit.
This allows you to pump more blood through your body with one heartbeat.
This beating performance of the heart is measured with the so-called cardiac output.
It tells you how much blood your heart can pump in a minute.
A trained heart muscle also leads to both a lower resting heart rate and a lower exercise frequency.
While the heart rate increases rapidly in untrained people, that of trained runners increases much more slowly.
After exercise, the heart rate drops significantly faster in the trained person than in the untrained person.
But that’s not all.
Regular running will enlarge your coronary arteries and increase capillary density.
And the higher the capillary density, the better the oxygen supply to the heart.
Below you will find an overview of all adaptations to the cardiovascular system:
- Lowering the resting heart rate
- Lowering the heart rate while maintaining the same level of performance
- Enlargement of the heart muscle
- Expansion of the interior of the heart
- Increased stroke and cardiac output
- Improved oxygen supply to the heart muscle
- Lowering blood pressure
Running strengthens the lungs
Your body needs a constant supply of oxygen.
The following applies: the faster you run, the more oxygen you need to be able to supply your muscles with energy.
This is why you mainly breathe through your mouth during interval or speed training.
In response to running, your respiratory system adapts to regular stress:
- Your minute ventilation is increased
- Your VO2max increases
- You improve your breathing economy (increased oxygen uptake with the same amount of air)
Read more: Breathe properly while running: more oxygen for more performance
Improving your maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) is just one of the many benefits of running regularly
Running helps you lose weight
Since you burn energy in the form of calories during exercise, running is ideal for losing weight.
If you run regularly, your caloric needs will also be higher.
However, many people find it difficult to lose weight healthily.
After all, you still need to watch your diet.
However, that is a science in itself.
That is why I have prepared this topic for you in a separate article:
In my article on nutrition tips for runners you will find valuable information about the food intake of endurance athletes.
Read more: The best nutrition tips for runners
Running makes you happy
Everything already goes wrong on the way to work:
Traffic jam on the autobahn, the train fails again or the tire on the bike has a flat tire.
At work, your digital mailbox overflows, bad-tempered customers keep calling you and, to top it all off, your boss also wants to have something done quickly at the last minute.
You know these days.
Days when you wanted to stay in bed.
No matter how shitty your day was.
After running, all worries are forgotten and the mood is increased.
That has even been scientifically proven.
The happiness hormones endorphin and serotonin are released when you run.
This not only helps against feelings of anxiety, but also with depression.
In addition, you can literally get yourself into a legal intoxication while running.
In order to reach the so-called runner’s high, however, you have to reach your performance limit.
Only then are the happiness hormones released.
For me, this condition mainly occurs during long runs and an intensity between 75-80% of my maximum heart rate.
Running improves general wellbeing
Running regularly improves general wellbeing.
It’s the ideal balance if you want to clear your head for other things after a stressful day at work.
It makes you incredibly proud if you went running despite the rain or if you did the hard interval training successfully.
It makes you happy when you notice progress after just a few training sessions.
And running gives you an incredible amount of life energy!
Running increases life expectancy
Live three years longer?
Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?
US researchers at the Cooper Institute in Dallas have found that regular running increases life expectancy significantly.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re training for a marathon or simply running your house lap 2-3 times.
Statistically, if you run two hours a week, you’ll live three years longer.
Running makes you smart
The evasive maneuvers in roots or uneven roads.
The slalom for passers-by on the Rheinboulevard.
The short sprint to catch the green phase of a traffic light.
All of this increases your cognitive abilities – anticipatory action, multitasking, your own body awareness and your motor skills are improved through regular running.
Because you have to master all of these challenges within seconds.
In addition, a runner’s brain has a much better blood supply.
This allows endurance athletes to concentrate much better.
You get sportier
Those who run regularly will enjoy the sporting activity.
You will ride your bike more often that you would normally only be jetting by car.
In addition to running, strength training or alternative sports suddenly become part of your life.
Of course, all sport also has an impact on your body.
Ideally, you will lose weight and build (visible) muscles.
For the six-pack, by the way, I recommend this core workout.
Read more: Strength Training For Runners – The 8 Best Exercises
Also interesting: Core workout: 5 effective exercises for strong abs
Whether feeling happy after a successful competition or a sportier figure – regular running improves general well-being
You sleep better
One study looked at more than 2,600 men and women aged 18 to 85 years.
This target group was physically active for a total of at least two and a half hours per week.
In the end, it was found that the subjects’ sleep quality had increased by 65 percent.
However, you should be careful not to run too intense units before bed.
Because the higher the exposure, the more stimulants the body releases in the form of hormones.
You can find more information on this topic in the following article.
Running and sleeping: this is how important healthy sleep is
You strengthen bones and joints
Jogging damages the joints!
A common myth when it comes to running.
Because exactly the opposite is the case.
Regular running makes the synovial fluid thinner, which means that the cartilage on the joint surfaces can be better supplied with nutrients.
In addition, well-trained leg and gluteus muscles relieve your joints in everyday life.
Your bones will also benefit from running regularly.
The harder the load, the stronger the bones.
At least that’s what researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia claim.
As you get older, you should exercise regularly to counteract muscle and bone loss.
You improve your digestion
Constipation is a widespread disease that nobody talks about.
Between 30-60 percent of the German population unfortunately suffer from constipation more often.
An improper diet, fluid deficit, or lack of exercise can cripple your digestion.
Regular running helps against this.
Because with easy runs in the area of basic endurance, the blood circulation in the intestines is improved.
As a result, the intestinal motor skills increase – the time for digestion is correspondingly shorter.
You strengthen your self-confidence
Less body fat, firmer skin, more defined muscles, an upright posture.
As if these visible successes weren’t already a huge boost for your self-confidence, but other aspects also play a major role in a self-confident appearance:
Always improving, being able to recognize clear progress and feeling good in your own body gives you an incredible amount of self-confidence.
The appreciative look when two runners meet.
Or the classic runner greeting.
Even when two lone fighters meet on the running track, you always feel connected to the other person.
At least in spirit.
But running also connects physically.
Especially when you train for an ambitious goal and join a running group for it, this increases your motivation enormously.
And it is in such groups that the best friendships often come about.
After all, you have the same hobby and can always talk about the latest running topics or training tips.
You always meet new people at running events with whom you immediately get into conversation
There are many benefits to running regularly
In addition to the health aspects, your general fitness will of course also change in the long term.
You also strengthen your mentality.
In order to push your body to the limit and to challenge you again and again, the bastard has to be put in its place endlessly.
But regardless of whether it is health, a sense of achievement or friendships.
Running is more than just a sport.
Running is a way of life.