10 (convincing!) reasons to start running now
posted: April 10, 2014
Let’s solve the mystery once and for all: yes, running can get you high.
Not because a million runners have claimed they’ve felt ‘runner’s high,’ but because a few years ago, as the New York Times reported, some German neuroscientists actually put the theory through its proper paces. And in the end they determined that running does indeed elicit a flood of endorphins—the body’s naturally occurring opiates—to the brain. The more you run, the more endorphins. The more endorphins, the greater effect on your mood. That’s reason enough for us to lace up our sneakers!
But if you should need a few more awesome reasons, our friends at Greatist came up with 30 of them. Here’s our 10 favourite.
1. Save some cash. Forget fancy equipment or a pricey gym membership. When it comes to running, all you need to get started is the right footwear.
2. Eat more carbs. Who doesn’t love a pasta dinner? Now there’s an excuse to slurp up more spaghetti. During intense training like preparing for a race (sorry, channel surfing doesn’t count) increasing carb intake might help running performance and boost mood during harder runs.
3. Get primal. Turns out Bruce Springsteen was right after all: Baby, we were born to run. It’s what turned us from apes to humans and was used by our ancestors to outrun prey over long distances.
4. Get a natural glow. Believe it or not, working up a sweat can rid the face of gunk that clogs pores and leads to breakouts. A solid sweat session can also boost natural oils, keeping things fresh and healthy. (Just remember to remove makeup pre-workout and wash gently afterward to avoid breakouts.)
5. Sleep better. Runners tend to adapt to set sleeping routines in order to keep running performance high. Even better: Running also encourages higher quality sleep, which translates into better zzz’s all night long.
6. Check off those goals. Studies suggest that people who set and meet (or exceed) long-term fitness goals (like signing up for a half-marathon!) are more committed and satisfied with their exercise routines than those who trudge along aimlessly. And who doesn’t feel good about crossing items off their bucket list?
7. Skinny jeans. Running is one of the best calorie burners out there. For a 160lb person it can burn more than 850 calories an hour. Not like we’re counting or anything.
8. Boost memory. Exercise has been shown to help keep the mind sharp and could even reduce symptoms of dementia. Hitting the track might also protect the brain against Alzheimer’s, even among those with a family history of it.
9. Do it anywhere. Run, that is. Whether on the treadmill or in the park, it’s easy to rack up miles. Even better: Try lacing up the sneakers on your next vacation to explore a new place.
10. Live longer. Who doesn’t want to live forever? Not only do runners have fewer disabilities and remain active longer than their sedentary counterparts, they actually live longer. And even as weekly running times decrease with age, the healthy benefits keep on ticking.