Three Benefits of Running You Probably Haven’t Thought Of


Running is awesome.

I can sense your scoffing all the way across the internet. “Running is awful,” you might be saying. “No one really likes to run except oddballs and people with disorders.”

I was once like you. I used to think running was too much suffering for some mysterious payoff, that it would hurt my joints and that I couldn’t ever become as good as the hardcore runners I knew, so why try anyway?

As I’ve documented before, the Couch to 5K program was my answer, and within a matter of months I was running ten minute miles with ease.

Yes, it was pretty easy, and took just 30 minutes or so, three times a week. I’ve dropped a bunch of weight and can finally outlast my kids.

And I’m an addict. One of those people I previously scoffed at. I know now what they know: running isn’t just an effective workout, it’s an escape, a challenge, and a way of life. Every time my feet hit the ground I’m stretching my boundaries and becoming a healthier person.

And you can do it, too.

I don’t want to sound like your mother or that one overbearing athletic friend. You know running has myriad health benefits, from improved cardiovascular condition to improved metabolism and yadda yadda yadda.

For whatever reason, those benefits haven’t convinced you to give it a shot. Allow me to offer up a few more. Running has myriad other positives outside of what happens in your heart. These are five secrets commonly known to frequent runners that I didn’t know until I became one:

1. Running is personal time - Whether on a treadmill or going in circles across a local park, running is your time. No kids, bosses, or family bugging you. It’s a great time to enjoy the silence, or some of your favorite music. I prefer podcasts, sometimes on sports topics, sometimes on things I need to learn more about, like science. NPR has a bunch of great ones to listen to.

2. You can inspire people - As long as you’re not an overbearing douchebag about your newfound running abilities, people will be inspired by how you’re able to transform yourself. It’s a great way to make friends, and always serves as interesting conversation starter at parties. Your grandma will think it’s awesome too. Remember: everyone seems to think running is some sort of superhero exercise. Let ‘em think it.

3. Disease Prevention - Running reduces your risk for a variety of cancers: colon, breast, lung, and endometrial. It can even help your vision.

What do you have to lose? The C25K program will ease you into a running habit; your body will do the rest. You may not become like me and find it to be an almost addictive habit, but even just a little bit of pushing yourself can have a wealth of benefits - more than you can even imagine!

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