Whilst lockdown continues and gyms remain closed, it’s important to keep up the momentum and stay active at home, to boost our immune systems and beat the lockdown blues.
If your home workout routine could do with a little shake up, why not use your daily outdoor exercise allowance to get out of the house and introduce some running into your fitness regime.
With no equipment needed, you can run anywhere, at any time and start reaping the many running benefits.
Lesser Known Running Benefits
Here’s some great reasons to dust off your running shoes, put on your favourite playlist and give it a go...
When we exert ourselves, little tears form in our muscles and are then repaired during periods of rest, with muscles coming back stronger than before. Because your heart is a muscle, the same rule applies. Running for just 10 minutes a day is associated with drastically reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Every time you run you decrease your resting heart rate, increase your maximum oxygen intake capacity and improve your blood circulation, resulting in a strong and healthy heart!
Alongside endorphins that are released from most forms of exercise, the continuous and rhythmical motion of running at a moderate intensity causes the release of endocannabinoids. These chemicals lead to a euphoric sensation known as ‘runners high’ which takes the edge of the physical exertion and helps you to keep running for longer. The more experienced a runner you are, the more likely you are to reach this elusive high, and enjoy the benefits - so if you’re yet to encounter the sensation, keep at it!
Running is often wrongly associated with weakened knees, with many people using this as a reason to stop as we get older. Surprisingly, a recent study has shown that runners are actually half as likely to suffer from knee osteoarthritis compared with walkers, so this is one of the lesser known benefits of running. The motion of pounding the pavement as you run causes your bones and cartilage to strengthen and spring back, compared with other low impact exercises.
BLAST THOSE CALORIES
If you’re on a weight losing mission, running is a great way to shed the pounds! As you run you engage big-muscle groups which is key for maximum calorie burn. To accelerate weight loss through running there's a few things you can try. Incorporate some uphill climbs into your running route to increase your heart rate to the max or try changing between sprinting and periods of walking for HIIT style run that will keep you burning fat for longer, post-exercise. Experts advise that mixing up your routine, instead of sticking to the same style of run every time, will help to avoid a weight loss plateau
Running works just about all of the muscles in your legs, and is great for building strong inner and outer thighs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. Regular running is a great form of exercise to compliment strength training, especially if you have a tendency to skip leg day!
While it may be obvious that running is a great lower body workout it also heavily engages your core muscles, which play an important role in stabailsing your spine and transferring power between your arms and legs. Carve your core with regular running and unveil those hidden abs!
FORM OF MEDITATION
Research shows that meditation can help improve focus and even fight depression and anxiety. But in a busy household, especially in lockdown, it’s not always possible to find even a few spare minutes and quiet room for a moment of reflection. Escaping the chaos and going on a run is the perfect way to steal some time to practice mindfulness and benefit from connecting to your surroundings, free from distraction.
WHERE DO I START?
Need some more motivation to get running? Join our 28k Challenge.
Log 28k via the Village app before the end of February for your chance to win a free nights stay. Find out more and sign up...