16 Jul 2014

Running, it propels us forward

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By: Geoff Rubin, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Hitting the pavement and accruing mileage is certainly a physical feat, but what is the motive behind doing it? Running is a sport which is definitely not for the meek, so what is it that drives us to put on our shoes, tie those laces and exit that front door?

The reasons to run come from a multitude of places whether it is for health reasons, physique, weight loss, accomplishments, etc. Whether it is intrinsic or extrinsic motivational factors that lead you to run, you’re doing yourself a phenomenal favor. In fact, running blasts the most calories: In a study done by the Medical College of Wisconsin and the VA Medical Center, the treadmill (used at a “hard” exertion level) torched an average of 705-865 calories in an hour. Not only are you torching the calories while running, but running boosts “afterburn”—that is, the number of calories you burn after exercise. (Scientists call this EPOC, which stands for excess post oxygen consumption.)

Additional physical benefits of running include:

– Bolsters your cartilage by increasing oxygen flow and flushing out toxins, and by strengthening the ligaments around your joints.

– Your time on the treadmill can even prevent vision loss, or so it seems. Two studies from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that running reduced the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

– One recent study in the British Journal of Cancer calculated that the “most active” (e.g. walked briskly 5-6 hours/week) people were 24 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than the “least active” people

Additional mental benefits of running include:

– Stress-busting powers of their regular jog. “Nothing beats that feeling when you settle into a strong stride with a powerful rhythm,” says Brooke Stevens, a four-time NYC marathoner, “The tension in my neck, back, and shoulders starts to loosen up, and I can think more clearly too.”

– Running is used by mental health experts to help treat clinical depression and other psychological disorders such as drug and alcohol addiction.

– In a 2006 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers found that even a single bout of exercise—30 minutes of walking on a treadmill—could instantly lift the mood of someone suffering from a major depressive order.

Regardless of the reasons that you are hitting the concrete, trail-head or treadmill, the benefits of this readily available sport are right there for your taking.

 

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Sources:

– Womens Health – Health Benefits of Running, 2013

– Runners World – 6 ways running helps improve your health

 

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