We all know that running is one of the best forms of exercise there is. Every nutritionist or dietician you go to will advise you certain forms of exercise, depending on your weight goals, lifestyle, and calorie intake, and, needless to say, running will definitely be on the top of the list. And the reason is quite clear: running exercises the entire body, is a great way to recharge your batteries, and will certainly help you reach your weight goals much better than many other machine based forms of exercise. Yet, like everything else in life, it would not be a particularly great idea to go running indiscriminately. As health experts have been pointing out all the time, running, like any other exercise, has its own set of pros and cons. In this article, we will look at both sides of the story.
Let us begin with the good aspects of running.
Positive effects of running:
First of all, running is a wonderful form of exercise. It trains the muscles of the entire body, and improves blood circulation. People who run regularly face lower chances of suffering from heart ailments such as cardiac arrests, high cholesterol, and heart attacks. Running burns up a lot of energy, so that means that you will also be able to handle higher levels of calorie intake. Your muscles will become stronger, and your reflexes better, if you become a regular runner. Your overall health will improve drastically once you take up running and stick to it. In fact, some recent research has shown that regular running decreases the risk of breast cancer in women significantly, and people in the early stages of diabetes and high cholesterol are advised to take up running as a means of combating the diseases.
Keeps you in shape
Running improves your overall health, and that means you get into better shape. If you have been running for a long time, you will be aware of how healthy, strong, and fit you feel. Running requires a lot of strength and energy, and makes your body burn up calories like no other. This is why running is one of the leading methods of weight loss. It will help you lose excess pounds in very little time, and help you stay in shape for as long as you keep up with the running. Muscles get a very good workout during running, and that builds more muscles, which further helps in shedding excess calories.
Helps you relax
For many people, running is a great source of relaxation. It can act as moving meditation as you focus on nothing but the running and the stressing of your muscles and joints. For others, running allows you some time to be alone with yourself and away from the busyness of daily life. It relieves stress by improving blood circulation, metabolism, and hormone release, and a healthier body makes you more confident.
Negative effects of running:
All said and done, however, running does have some negative consequences if not exercised in moderation.
Might harm the heart
When we run, we work each muscle in the body, and our heart pumps vigorously to supply our muscles with enough blood and keep us from passing out. In case we do keep running without taking into account the level of fatigue that our body can handle, it will ultimately prove too stressful for the heart. That is why it is not a good idea to run too many miles when you are just starting out.
Might cause injuries
Muscle, bone, and joint pains are very common symptoms a novice runner will experience if they do not understand their limits. Regular runners suffer from some very common ailments, such as Achilles tendinitis, shin pain, knee pain, illiotibial band syndrome, and plantar fasciitis. However, it is to be noted that none of these injuries would otherwise happen if running had been undertaken prudently, and as a supplementary form of exercise along with other forms of strength, weight, and cardio training. Wearing proper running shoes and taking the help of a trainer who would decide the miles and speed for running would effectively be able to prevent such injuries from happening at all.
Running itself is a great form of exercise. What is necessary is the prudence to not overdo it, and stay within the right limits. You should of course push your limits when you are undertaking any form of exercise, but it is important to understand that even pushing the limits has its own set of set rules. It is only by running responsibly and with proper caution that you will be able to reap its full benefits.