You've probably heard that running is good for you and it improves your health. But do you know what exactly it improves?
1. Running helps you lose or maintain weight - When you run, you burn calories but that's not all. When running, the calorie-burning process continues even after you stop running. Scientifically, this process is called Excess Post Oxygen Consumption or EPOC for short.
2. Running strengthens your knees and other joints - You probably know that running increases bone mass and helps prevent age-related bone loss. Even so, chances are, you've had a family or friend tell you that running is bad for your knees - but it's not. It's scientifically proven that running is good for your knees - according to Boston University researcher David Felson in an interview with National Public Radio.
3. Running keeps your brain healthy - If you're worried about losing your mental abilities as you age, all you have to do is start running daily. A study proved that regular exercise helps your brain keep its wits - in other words, it helps you prevent age-related mental decline. The study determined that fit adults score better in mental tests than unfit ones - consistently.
4. Running reduces the risk of cancer - Running won't cure cancer if you're already ill with it but it can go a long way in preventing it. 170 epidemiological studies were reviewed by Oxford Academic which resulted in findings that running can prevent certain types of cancer. Even if you already have cancer, running (with your doctor's approval) can increase your life quality while undergoing chemo.
5. Running adds years to your life - 30 minutes, 5 days a week can go a long way in prolonging your life. Here's what science found:
- Smokers added 4.1 years to their life
- Nonsmokers added 3 years to their life
- Smokers that continued smoking gained 2.6 years of life
- Cancer survivors extended their life by 5.3 years
- People with heart disease gained 4.3 years of life
Point #5 alone should be enough to get you to start running.