Everybody loves strength training with free weights and workout machines. And there are many reasons you should do it whether you’re looking to build muscle, shed fat and calories, or simply amp up your overall health. But, there’s a slew of benefits specific to running that together make a pretty strong case for any man to consider becoming a runner. From the aesthetic gains to the mental perks, there’s a reason why 19 million people finished races in the US last year. While we’re not saying you should get out of the gym, we are saying you should consider taking up running, too. Here are 25 reasons why.
- Running Can Help You Live Longer
Runners live longer than those who don’t and in one Archives of Internal Medicine study, experts followed about 1,000 adults (ages 50 and older) for 21 years. At the end of the research, 85 percent of the runners were still kicking it, while only 66 percent of the non-runners were alive.
- Running Can Get You High
The runner’s high is true: Mounting research, including one study published in Experimental Technology, revealed that when we run, our brains pump out endocannabinoids, cannabis-like molecules that keep runners happy—and hooked.
- Running Doesn’t Require a Commute
Sure, gym workout might only take an hour, but getting to and from the gym takes another 30 minutes. However the second you step out of your front door, you can be running, says Moen. After all, you spend sufficient of your time in the car. What’s more: Make running your commute!
- Running Fights off Beer Bellies
As you get older, pounds just have a way of gluing themselves to your stomach. However, in one Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study of more than 100,000 runners, those who ran 35 or more miles per week got less weight in their bellies throughout their mid-life years than those who ran less than nine.
- Running Can Help Score You Vitamin D
The human body gets most of its vitamin D from sun exposure, however since people spend all of their time indoors, well, we know how it goes. That explains why 41.6 percent of Americans lack of the vitamin, according to study published in Nutrition Research. Taking your run outdoors can help boost your levels to ward off depression, prevent type 2- diabetes, and sustain your bones.
- Running Burns Crazy Calories
“An average 1 hour weight-training workout at the gym helps cut about 300 calories. The simple hour-long run burns about twice that,” says American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer Tammie Dubberly, a running coach with Whole Body Fitness in Portland, Oregon. Meanwhile, in one study from the Medical College of Wisconsin and the VA Medical Center, researchers revealed that the treadmill burned an average of 705 to 865 calories in an hour. The stair-climbing, rower, and stationary bike all burned far fewer calories.
- Running Doesn’t Require a Ton of Equipment
“If you’ve got shoes, shorts, and a shirt, you are ready to go,” Fitzgerald says. “You can’t say that about many other exercise types.” No dumbbells, machines, or even mats needed.
- You Can Run Anywhere
Running will take you a heck of a lot farther than the 4 walls of your gym. “You can run anywhere you prefer. There are basically races in Antarctica and the Sahara Desert,” Fitzgerald says. OK, most dieters won’t go that far. But a weekend away won’t ruin your workout routine.
- You Can Run at Any Time
The trail is always open. Whether you need to get in a workout at 2pm or 2am, you can go for it, says Erik Moen, P.T., a Corpore Sano Physical Therapy founder, Washington.
- Your Dog Can Run with You
Dogs normally aren’t welcomed in the gym. But they are right at home on your trail. They even get endocannabinoid-fueled runner’s highs comparable to those of their two-legged friends, according to study from the University of Arizona.
- Running Turns You into the Energizer Bunny
“Running is such an excellent cardiovascular workout that it makes it so that you don’t get tired as easily from any given workload,” Fitzgerald says. “For instance, if I’m helping a friend move, I can carry boxes all day long and it’s not a big deal.”
- Running Strengthens Your Bones
Unlike every other aerobic exercise you can crank out in the gym, running is high impact, meaning it loads and remakes your bones along with your muscles. “Swimming, cycling, and working on the egg-shaped don’t train your bones,” says Jason Fitzgerald, a USA Track & Field-certified coach and the founder of Strength Running. “If those are the only variables you do, you’re at risk for weak bones and osteoporosis.”
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