30-Day Challenge: Move a Mile a Day

There are days when working out seems more like a chore. Instead of going through the motions, why not switch up your routine and make it more interesting? One way to boost your motivation is to take on a 30-Day Challenge. This is a great to mix up your regular routine, find motivation, prevent boredom, and test yourself.

Why Take on a 30-Day Challenge?

Studies say it takes 21 to 30 days to break old habits and create new ones. A 30-day challenge allows you to build healthy habits that may stick with you for life. It also helps to prevent boredom from your daily routine.

Are you ready to commit to 30 days? It’s time to switch up your routine and gear up for a new challenge. Whether you want to lose weight or run faster, test yourself…move a mile a day.

More: 30-Day Ab Challenge

30-Day Challenge: Move a Mile a Day

A mile a day may sound easy or it may sound hard. Either way it’s a killer challenge. All you have to do is move your body forward for at least 1 mile, every day, for 30 days. You can run, jog, walk, crawl, bike or swim. Just break out of your normal routine and move a mile a day.

Why a Mile a Day?

The primary goal is to create better habits. Real success comes from real change, and that requires a re-patterning of your lifestyle. Lacing up every day will help you learn how to make time for fitness.

For newbies, this is a great place for you to start a new fitness routine and create healthy habits. For veterans, this is a great test to either increase distance or build speed.

More: How to Start Running

What You Need to Do Before You Start Running

Base Pace

Before you hit the pavement, you need to know your base pace. At the beginning of your 30-day challenge, track how long it takes you to run your first mile. Jot that time down. There’s your base time. You don’t have to sprint a mile a day, but you should keep track of your pace and improvements throughout the month.

More: 4 Steps to the Perfect Pace

Which Is Better: Running Faster or Longer?

If you consider yourself a serious runner, you may feel settled into one of two camps: speed or distance. You might be able to lap everyone on the track, or maybe you have more marathon bibs than you can count. Or you could be a total running newbie, and don’t know which way is best when it comes to tackling your training (besides, well, putting one foot in front of the other). (No matter where you are in the running game, give our 30-Day Running Challenge a try.)

But there is an answer to the age-old debate regarding which is better: running faster or longer? We tapped running expert Danny Mackey, a Brooks Beast Track Club coach with a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics, to find out whether you should dedicate your time on the road, treadmill, or track to upping your pace or extending your distance for all-around get-fit benefits.

Disclaimer: If you’re training for a certain long-distance race (i.e. a half marathon or marathon) or a speed race (like challenging your gym buddy to a 100m dash), your training should be tailored to that event. But if you’re the average, recreational runner, logging miles mainly for the fitness benefits, and want to know where to best direct your efforts, Mackey’s advice will clue you in.

The Quick Answer

Just do both. Variability is key, says Mackey. Butif you’re only running a couple of times a week, running for speed will get you more bang for your buck in terms of fitness benefits-as long as you give your body time to recover in between.

When you’re running five or six days a week, you need long, slow runs to let your body recover, Mackey says. “When you go harder, you hit all the metabolic levels and intensities,” he says. “Our body is not built with switches; there’s no on or off. And if you’re going hard, you’re using everything. But the consequence is that you have to recover from it, or you’re going to get hurt.” (It helps to make sure your running technique is on-point too.) If you’re running about three days a week, those off days can act as your recovery.

But know that upping your running frequency and simply going long and slow for every run isn’t a great option either. “If you’re going easy all the time, you’re really limiting all the other intensity levels needed to get the full benefit or exercise,” says Mackey. “It’s better than not exercising for sure, but it’s definitely not the only thing you want to do. It’s not great for body composition and for fat storage.”

The Science

Running only long and easy won’t cut it for a bunch of reasons. One being the fact that it doesn’t burn carbohydrates. “When you’re going slower, the energy demands are lower, and your body’s going to rely predominantly on fat to drive that exercise,” says Mackey. “We don’t really use carbohydrates for easy runs because we don’t need the energy that quickly. You use carbs when you go at harder intensities, because getting energy from a carbohydrate is a quicker process. If you’re going more intense, the energy demands are going to spike up a little bit, and you body’s going to start using fat and carbs.”

Going at an easy pace also uses fewer muscle fibers, which engages less of your nervous system; Mackey says it’s about 60 percent versus 80 percent during higher-intensity training. Plus, pushing yourself to go faster requires acceleration, which puts a lot of stress on your muscles. This is the good kind of stress, though, the kind that encourages your body to adapt and make improvements.

And, last but not least, you burn more calories per mile when you’re going faster-even if it means you’re running for a shorter amount of time.

All this might have you lacing up your sprinting spikes, ready to hammer out some seriously speedy workouts. But hold up a second. There’s a reason you can’t go all-out all the time. Even when he’s trained pro athletes, Mackey says they would do two, maybe three, really intense workouts per week. “Any more than that, and you could get burned out, start storing calories, see a decrease in your mood, and stop sleeping well,” explains Mackey.

“Faster running is always ideal if you can recovery really well, like if you only have a few days a week to workout,” he says. “If you only have, for example, three days a week to work out, that means you’re recovering on the other four days. So if you could do that and not get hurt, that’s the way to go.” (P.S. There are even more reasons running is good for your body, mind, and mood.)

Your Get-Fit Running Plan

So for anyone keeping score, sprinters get a point for all the go-fast health benefits, but distance runners get a point for it being gentle enough to do every day. But the best case scenario? Do both. Try a mix of the follow types of training that Mackey uses in his coaching to get the best benefits and reduce injury risk.

Intervals could be fartleks (a Swedish word for “speed play;” for example, run for 40 minutes and do 8 rounds of with 2 minutes at a hard intensity alternated with 2 minutes at an easy intensity). Mackey recommends keeping the intervals between one and five minutes as a general rule of thumb. Your rating of percieved exertion (RPE) should be about an 8 to 9 out of 10. He usually recommends doing these once a week.

Tempo runs are typically run for 20 to 25 minutes at a 6 or 7 RPE. Mackey typically recommends doing these once a week.

Sprints can be done on easier days or long, slow distance days. They consist of 10-second or under bouts of all-out sprints. Their biggest benefit is for your nervous system and coordination, says Mackey. Try adding these to your training once a week.

Long, slow distance runs are pretty self-explanatory-that means running longer distances at an easy pace. Your heart rate should stay under 150, and you can most likely hold a conversation.

Strength training (consistently) is key to preventing injury, even if you’re not doing it often or hard enough to add muscle mass. Just adding some strength work twice a week for twenty minutes, Mackey says, should help keep you from getting hurt.

Now get ready to tackle a half marathon, marathon, or just cut your 5K time like crazy.

  • By Lauren Mazzo @lauren_mazzo

7 Benefits of Jogging That You Didn’t Know

The benefits of jogging just keep on piling up. Jogging is one of the oldest and most popular forms of aerobic exercise. Fads come and go, but jogging has withstood some of the trendiest exercise crazes that have come thru the years. There are many health benefits of jogging which is why it has remained so popular. As always, consult a physician first before embarking on any exercise program. When you do take it up, start slowly. Take brisk walks at first and slowly introduce jogging spurts as you build your endurance. They say the ideal form is to land on the ball of the heel and you should push with your toes. A sign of good form is if you feel like you are gliding, with hardly any pressure or weight on your feet. Purchase the proper running clothes, but be especially particular with running shoes. They should be a half size bigger than your actual size, to give your toes wiggle room. Also, make up your mind if jogging on a treadmill or outdoors suits you better. Treadmill jogging is great because rain or shine, you get to do the activity.

Jogging outdoors on the other hand keeps you in touch with outside action. You can also determine if you are a morning or afternoon jogger so you can plan and make time for the exercise. The benefits of jogging in the morning are that you are fresh, well-rested, and if you run on an empty stomach, could burn more fat. Afternoon jogs on the other hand can help you blow-off steam and accumulated stress from the day. Here are seven major reasons that you should take up jogging.


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Jogging has many disease prevention advantages. Here are just a few jogging benefits:

1. Jogging Helps Prevent Hypertension and Heart Disease

Aerobic fitness is linked to a better quality of life. The benefit of jogging is that it can reduce your risk of developing a host of diseases. Among these is heart disease since your cardiovascular system since gets a great workout with this exercise. Jogging helps to keep high blood pressure at bay. One mechanism it activates is the lowering of LDL or the “bad cholesterol” in your blood as you do vigorous exercise such as jogging. Known as the “silent killer”, hypertension can have long term effects on your body that could lead to life threatening conditions such as hemorrhaging, atherosclerosis and aneurysms if it is unchecked.

2. Jogging Helps Prevent Some Cancers

Researchers strongly agree that jogging is helpful in the prevention of some cancers. This is achieved by the better oxygenation of the entire body while we are jogging. Cells that do not get adequate supplies of oxygen have been known to mutate more vigorously, often turning malignant. Jogging increases the supply of oxygen to all parts of the body, helping prevent some cancers.

3. Jogging Helps Keep Infectious Diseases at Bay

Jogging also strengthens the immune system remarkably well. There is strong evidence that aerobic exercise helps promote the stimulation of macrophages or bacteria fighting cells and lymphocytes that fight infections thru the immune system. Having these cells circulate systemically helps boost our over-all immunity to stave off several infectious diseases, such as the common cold and flu which are viral diseases, and some bacterial infections.

4. Jogging Wages War with Diabetes

Jogging also helps control and prevents diabetes. A sedentary lifestyle and being overweight has been shown to directly increase your risk of developing diabetes. Adopting jogging and a healthy lifestyle can prevent you from acquiring this debilitating condition.

Jogging also has other beneficial effects besides physical well being. It also promotes our mental and psychological conditions.

5. Improved Mental Fitness

Jogging also benefits our mental health. Being in shape gives us a better sense of confidence and self esteem. You are also able to improve your over-all demeanor since jogging helps release the feel-good hormones called endorphins. These are chemicals released into the body that causes you to have an upbeat mood. This is what is commonly referred to as the runners high. Exercise like jogging will keep you feeling better and happy the whole day.

6. Combat Stress with Jogging

Jogging is very helpful when it comes to fighting stress. It helps put you in a more peaceful state of mind and helps promote an upbeat attitude. Jogging or running on a treadmill can give immediate tension release by helping the release of brain chemicals that have a calming effect on our emotions. These chemical are norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. Exercise has been shown to affect at the cellular level by reversing some of the adverse effects of stress that are aging related. Jogging and the repeated pounding of your feet on the treadmill or pavement helps give us that peaceful state that allows us to shut out the world and just be alone with our thoughts. This can be a very soothing feeling, shutting out stressors while we are immersed in the joy of running. It also affords us the solitude to sort out some of our daily concerns with less distraction.

7. Jogging Helps you Lose Weight and Reduces Body Fat Levels

The benefits of jogging for women and men is that it almost has no equal with regards to weight regulation. It is estimated that you will burn roughly around 150 calories for every mile that you go jogging. Doing this religiously would increase the number of calories you lose in the long run. This is one of the benefits of jogging everyday. There is also the afterburn effect as you will still be burning additional calories for the next 48 hours after your last run. This is also one of the most efficient ways to lose weight and get into shape. You will be able to achieve your fitness goals faster than if you did other cardiovascular exercises such as walking. Jogging is your answer to losing those extra pounds that just stubbornly won’t come off. Since it is weight bearing, it allows you to burn a larger number of calories per session. Bear in mind a little math; one pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, which simply means you have to torch 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat. Jogging will help you reach that goal faster.

So whether you plan to hit the treadmill or the pavement, give jogging a try. It is a time tested exercise that has reaped health benefits for millions of people for several generations now.

Bottom line…

Jogging is awesome! Therefore, make sure to grab the FREE Handbook Of Effective Jogging on this page and start to experience described benefits right away!

22 benefits of jogging

Jogging is a fairly gentle sport that allows you to get all the benefits of exercise without putting your body under huge amounts of strain. There are many benefits of jogging that go far beyond the obvious associations we make with it.

In fact, a surprising amount of these benefits are unknown to the majority of us, and even those that do jog may only feel some of them. However, this does not mean that the first associations we make with jogging are any less beneficial, so they are a good place to start in this list.

1. Respiratory System

Jogging is an aerobic activity, which means that the use of oxygen features heavily. This is the opposite of sprinting which is anaerobic, as no oxygen is involved; sprinters generally hold their breath for the duration of the sprint. In aerobic activities each cell in the body requires oxygen and produces carbon dioxide as a waste product.

The respiratory system is responsible for the intake of essential oxygen and the release of waste carbon dioxide. Of course, this is an ongoing process every time you breathe, but jogging helps make it a much more efficient one. The tidal volume, or the lungs’ capacity, increases overall, and as this increases the amount of oxygen your muscles need decreases due to their improved efficiency.

The lungs also grow more alveoli, which is where gas exchanges are made between the blood and the lungs, so that the extra intake of oxygen can be used effectively. The overall increase in your body’s intake and efficiency with oxygen has huge benefits that we will see later.

2. Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system is responsible for transporting blood around the body and consists of the heart, veins, arteries, and capillaries. It is through the blood that oxygen and carbon dioxide as well as other nutrients are transported between the lungs and every cell in the body.

The burning of cholesterol reduces blood pressure which subsequently lowers the risk of heart disease and strokes. Just like the lungs grow extra alveoli, capillary density will increase around the body to ensure that the oxygen is getting to new muscle and to already existing parts of the body.

Capillaries are where exchanges are made between the blood and cells, resulting in each cell receiving the oxygen and other essentials in greater quantities and speed, as well as more easily passing off waste. Each cell is therefore functioning to a much greater degree of efficiency.

3. Heart

The heart benefits hugely from jogging. It is arguably one of the most important organs in the body and is responsible for pumping blood. The improvements to the cardiovascular system have knock on effects for the heart. The heart is a muscular organ, so the more it works, the stronger it becomes.

Clearly a strong heart reduces the risk of heart disease in later life. Regular exercise, such as jogging helps to strengthen it.

4. Muscles

New muscle will grow and existing muscle will become stronger and more efficient. The muscle that gains the most benefit aside from the heart is the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the muscle which controls your breathing and separates your lungs and heart from the abdominal cavity.

Every time it contracts, your lungs draw in air. This is going to happen a huge amount of times during a jog, which means that it gets much stronger, and can help your lungs fill with more air as well as cope with any further strenuous activity.

The legs are clearly worked a lot also, and jogging does more than what simply walking does (stretching the muscles). Because jogging is a gentle sport, your legs will complete a large number of low weight extensions. This strengthens them without getting them to grow massive.

5. Brain

The organs of the body benefit enormously from the increase in oxygen, and although all are important, the most impressive improvement is in the brain. Experiments have shown that jogging leads to new neurons being created in the brain. Neurons are cells in the brain, and an increase in their number has shown to lead to better learning and memory capabilities while tackling diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease.

However, there are far more benefits for the brain than we would expect. Increased neuro-plasticity as a result of jogging means that the brain is more capable of adapting to changes, such as pregnancy. The brain also increases its cognitive ability and releases hormones that improve your mood and self-motivational abilities as well as many other psychological benefits.

6. Psychological Health

After introducing jogging to your regular routine, you will notice several improvements to your psychological health and energy levels. Jogging is often advised to those suffering from depression or addiction, although you do not need to be suffering from either of these two to notice the benefits.

Jogging causes a state of euphoria known as ‘runner’s high’ which comes after a period of moderate exercise. This feeling of euphoria is due to the release of endorphins. Jogging is also known to act as an anti-depressant, reduce stress, and increase energy levels, meaning that for those feeling low on energy and struggling with day to day activities, a gentle jog will increase your capability to deal with daily activities. This is essentially what fitness is all for.

7. Immune System

As with everything else, the immune system also increases in functionality. Your body becomes stronger and can resist infections, like the common cold. However, this is not the case for marathon runners who exert themselves to such an extent that their body is weakened.

This improvement is because of increased physical strength, stronger filtering devices in the trachea and increased production of white blood cells, as well as lower levels of stress, depression and fatigue. It is worth bearing in mind that putting your body under too much strain will weaken your immune system temporarily.

8. Bones

Jogging can strengthen the bones and may help prevent certain bone diseases from forming. Having healthy bones is important for a number of reasons. For example, red blood cells are produced by bone marrow. Jogging could also contribute to building stronger and more flexible joints.

9. Weight Loss

One of the major reasons that people start jogging is to lose weight. I mentioned earlier that cholesterol is burnt in veins and arteries, and it is true of fat in the body as well.

If you are jogging as part of a weight loss program it is important to be sensible and to take it slowly, run with good shoes and try to run on softer surfaces such as grass to lessen the pressure on your knees.

A good weight loss diet together with regular jogging can work wonders!

10. Anti-ageing

Everything mentioned above contributes to slowing the effects of age. After a relatively short period of jogging you will be in a better state both physically and mentally, and higher levels of energy and positivity help maintain a youthful outlook on life. More blood and oxygen gets to your skin, giving it more colour and firmness, thus slowing down any developing wrinkles.

11. Any Time, Any Place

Starting to jog only takes a little motivation and it can be done from anywhere at any time. Jogging in green areas is good for the sense of ‘runner’s high’ because you feel as though you are out in nature, something that is good for your psychological health.

However, if you live in a city and aren’t near a park, jogging down streets will still give you all the benefits listed above. Jogging can be done any time of the day at any time of year for the same benefits. It is sensible to wear warm clothes in the winter.

12. It is Free

Jogging incurs no extra cost other than buying a good pair of trainers. No other equipment is needed and no membership fee has to be paid to go for a run. Your health can be improved substantially, for free!

13. Improves Energy Levels

I mentioned earlier how increased energy levels are psychologically healthy, but this will also have huge benefits for all other areas of your life. Not only will you have more energy to be able to exercise longer, but your overall productivity will increase, be it at school or work.

14. Confidence

Jogging will drastically increase your confidence too. Many people look at their bodies with a very critical eye, and when you see the physical improvements, a greater self worthiness will be another reward. This is also due to the anti-depressive and stress reducing qualities of jogging.

15. Thought Organisation

Jogging has been shown to help people organise thoughts. When a stressful or complicated situation arises, a jog will help you feel as though you are physically moving through your thoughts and help you to reach a solution. This may be because you are spending time completely alone and with your body, that you feel you get closer to what is important to you.

16. Self-Sufficiency

Self-sufficiency is an important thing to learn in life. You have to know what you are capable of alone, and jogging not only helps you find that, but also helps you push your capabilities. This is because when jogging, it is completely up to you to meet targets and no one else can help you. If you are unfit, jogging will make you realise that and encourage you to push the limits of your capabilities.

17. Perseverance

Jogging teaches you that no gain can be achieved without perseverance. As with other areas of life, you will need to put work in to see any results. These results will be being able to run further, as well as the extensive health benefits listed above. When it is just you and the road, there is no choice but to just keep going, and this is a lesson that can be implemented in other areas of life.

18. Increase Attention to Health

Jogging reveals to you exactly what state of physical health your body is in. When we don’t exercise we do not see the damage that is caused by drinking, smoking and unhealthy foods, because we do not push ourselves beyond our comfort zones.

If you go for a jog after a long period of no exercise, the strain and pain in your heart and lungs will encourage you to stop smoking and drop other damaging habits and focus on starting a healthier lifestyle. This is good because although jogging is extremely healthy, it is not the only thing that can help your health.

19. Damage Reduction

When you exercise, the damage of living an unhealthy lifestyle can be reduced. Clearly this is not the best attitude to have because living in an unhealthy way is not recommended, but if you want to run to lessen the damage of an unhealthy meal or night, then you can! You should of course try to maintain a healthy lifestyle whenever possible.

20. Social Sport

Although jogging requires your own physical and mental strength, there are many groups that organise jogging sessions. This is a good way to meet active people and can be encouraging, as well as providing a less lonesome way of exercising regularly.

21. Improved Sleep

Your sleep will improve not only because you will be physically tired, but also because negative thoughts and stress that tend to keep us up at night are significantly lessened as a result of jogging. This will have further benefits in your life, and help maintain high energy levels.

22. Increases Life Span

All of the health improvements that come from jogging contribute to a longer life. All the physical and mental problems that jogging helps to overcome are serious problems that deteriorate your health, whether it be stress and depression or a weak heart.

Moreover, jogging will ensure that the extra years of your life are more likely to be free of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and it also counteracts the steady degradation of our bones, which happens to all of us as we age.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and it has given you a number of reasons to start incorporating jogging into your life, if you already don’t.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Exercise is medicine.” Well, it’s not just a saying; it’s the truth. Scientific research proves that regular exercise (150 minutes per week, which is about 30 minutes, five times per week)—and running in particular—has health benefits that extend well beyond any pill a doctor could prescribe. Studies have shown that running can help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers, and a host of other unpleasant conditions. What’s more, scientists have shown that running also vastly improves the quality of your emotional and mental life. It even helps you live longer. Here’s how:

1. Running makes you happier.

If you’ve been working out regularly, you’ve already discovered it: No matter how good or bad you feel at any given moment, exercise will make you feel better. And it goes beyond just the “runner’s high”—that rush of feel-good hormones known as endocannabinoids. In a 2006 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers found that even a single bout of exercise—30 minutes of walking on a treadmill—could instantly lift the mood of someone suffering from a major depressive order. In a May 2013 study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise in which rats and mice got antidepressant-like effects from running on a wheel, researchers concluded that physical activity was an effective alternative to treating depression.

Related: Discover how to run 10, 50, or even 100 pounds off with Run to Lose.

And even on those days when you have to force yourself out the door, exercise still protects you against anxiety and depression, studies have shown. Moderate exercise may help people cope with anxiety and stress even after they’re done working out, according to a 2012 study published in Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise. A 2012 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health proved that just 30 minutes of running during the week for three weeks boosted sleep quality, mood, and concentration during the day.

Ever heard someone call running their “drug”? Well, apparently, it actually is pretty similar. A 2015 study in Neuropharmacology showed that running causes the same kind of neurochemical adaptations in brain reward pathways as some addictive drugs.

2. Running helps you lose or maintain weight.

You know that exercises burns calories while you’re working out. The bonus is that when you exercise, the burn continues after you stop. Studies have shown that regular exercise boosts “afterburn”—that is, the number of calories you burn after exercise. (Scientists call this EPOC, which stands for excess post oxygen consumption.) That’s kind of like getting a paycheck even after you retire.

Related Story And you don’t have to be sprinting at the speed of sound to get this benefit. This happens when you’re exercising at an intensity that’s about 70 percent of VO2 max. (That’s a little faster than your easy pace and a little slower than marathon pace.)

3. Running strengthens your knees (and your other joints and bones, too).

It’s long been known that running increases bone mass, and even helps prevent age-related bone loss. But chances are, you’ve had family, friends, and strangers warn you that “running is bad for your knees.” Well, science has proven that it’s not. In fact, studies show that running improves knee health, according to Boston University researcher David Felson in an interview with National Public Radio.

“We know from many long-term studies that running doesn’t appear to cause much damage to the knees,” Felson said. “When we look at people with knee arthritis, we don’t find much of a previous history of running, and when we look at runners and follow them over time, we don’t find that their risk of developing osteoarthritis is any more than expected.”

4. Running will keep you sharper, even as you age.

Worried about “losing it” as you get older? Working out regularly will help you stay “with it.” A 2012 study published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review concluded that the evidence is insurmountable that regular exercise helps defeat age-related mental decline, particularly functions like task switching, selective attention, and working memory.

Studies consistently found that fitter older adults scored better in mental tests than their unfit peers. What’s more, in stroke patients, regular exercise improves memory, language, thinking, and judgment problems by almost 50 percent. The research team found “significant improvements” in overall brain function at the conclusion of the program, with the most improvement in attention, concentration, planning, and organizing.

5. Running reduces your risk of cancer.

Maybe running doesn’t cure cancer, but there’s plenty of proof that it helps prevent it. A vast review of 170 epidemiological studies in the Journal of Nutrition showed that regular exercise is associated with a lower risk of certain cancers. What’s more, if you already have cancer, running (with your doctor’s approval) can improve your quality of life while you’re undergoing chemotherapy.

6. Running adds years to your life.

Even if you meet just the minimum of amount of physical activity—(30 minutes, 5 times per week), you’ll live longer. Studies show that when different types of people started exercising, they lived longer. Smokers added 4.1 years to their lives; nonsmokers gained 3 years. Even if you’re still smoking, you’ll get 2.6 more years. Cancer survivors extended their lives by 5.3 years. Those with heart disease gained 4.3 years.

Effects of Running on the Female Body (by a Medical Doctor)

Women run to stay fit, compete in races or for the sheer love of running. There are records as old as 700 BC, where females ran to honour Greek goddess Hera in ancient Greece.

As a woman what should you know about running?

To get most from your running, whether it is for fitness, fun, race performance or weight loss, it is important to expand your knowledge with regards to proper training, health and of course nutrition. Frequent running can give many beneficial effects and make changes to the female body.

What does regular running do to the female body?

A study done by the Mayo Clinic found that running about 6 miles a week may add up to 3 to 6 years to your life. While regular running can increase your life span there are many benefits of running to the female.

  • High intensity anaerobic running is one of the most potent stimulators of growth hormone. Growth hormone contributes to stronger muscles which enhances performance. By frequent running and proper training you will gain strength and speed which is similar to the effects produced by steroids.
  • Running helps to burn calories. Fast running burns more calories than slow running. This helps to lose weight and can make you closer to your dream body.
  • An American study found that female runners produce a potent form of Oestrogen hormone much less than their sedentary counterparts. This will protect female runners from developing uterine, breast and colon cancer by reducing the risk by around 50%.
  • Running helps you get healthy skin by stimulating circulation. Running can help to transport oxygen and nutrients to the skin while flushing out waste products and byproducts of oxidative stress. You will notice that your skin will be clearer with a healthy glow.
  • Running keeps you physically active while helping you to fight effects of ageing because it reduces stress.
  • Osteoporosis is often considered a “Woman’s Disease” as it is prevalent among many post -menopausal women. Osteoporosis can lead to fractures in women. As frequent running strengthens your knees and muscles as well as increase in bone density, you will be better protected from osteoporosis related fractures. Running also helps to protect joints and reduce inflammation. When you have a stronger body your metabolism will increase, bone density will improve as well as your overall health will be increased.
  • Running releases endorphins which are “feel good” chemicals. Even just 30 minutes of running can improve your mood and fights stress and anxiety. A peaceful state of mind will definitely show in your outer appearance as you become more lively as well as physically fit.
  • Running improves the sensitivity to insulin and fights against insulin resistance. By increasing the insulin sensitivity, running reduces the risk of getting type II diabetes by a significant percentage.
  • Heart disease and strokes are the main causes of premature death in women. Regular running is found to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes in females. Running is also known to reduce your blood pressure. Running boosts health of your vital organs such as heart and lungs by improving circulation. This will improve your overall health.

How does running change the physical appearance of a woman?

Your physical appearance is largely dependent on your body composition. Body composition means how much of your body consists of water, bone, fat, lean muscle and organs. Increasing lean muscle and decreasing subcutaneous fat is a key benefit which you gain with regular running.

However your genes and your diet play a major role here.

To have a healthy body you have to have a healthy amount of fat in your body too. Fat helps to balance your hormone levels and gives you energy. So our muscle/fat ratio should be balanced. Your body weight is determined by the energy you consume and the energy you burn.

If you have a regular balanced diet, you can use running to create a calorie deficit, which means running can cause energy expenditure and promote fat loss.

What does running do to your calves?

Running works well on toning your calves and shins. Calf muscles are constantly in motion while running. Running will give you toned calves. Make sure you do dynamic stretching before you start running to enhance these effects and to prevent injuries.

Does running affect your thigh muscles?

Front of the thighs are formed by quadriceps and back of the thigh by hamstrings. Both these muscle groups are well worked out while running. This allows fat burning and increasing lean muscle mass in your thighs, giving you a toned look.

Does running make your butt bigger?

Running can help you to sculpt your backside depending on which type of running you do. Your butt is mainly formed of pelvic bones, gluteal muscles and fat.

Running targets mainly your legs and butt. The muscles which are used to power you through your run are quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and glutes. Regular running will definitely get you a toned, fit body including a firm butt. However running per se will not make your butt bigger unless you specifically work out on your glutes.

Marathon runners do not have big butts, when compared to sprinters. Sprinters train their glutes by means of weight training to improve performance.

Can you lose arm and shoulder fat by running?

As running causes fat burning in the entire body, your arms will also get slimmer with time. However you cannot spot reduce the fat in your arms.
If you swing your arms while running, you can help more fat burning and toning of arms and shoulders. Weight training combined with running can help you to achieve more toned arms and shoulders.

Does running affect your belly fat?

Running helps to reduce fat from entire body, provided there is a calorie deficit. Belly fat reduction is the most difficult and last to go. When you run regularly, you may notice while you lose fat from your body, your belly fat is reducing gradually too.
Make sure you stick to a proper diet plan where you maintain that calorie deficit. Do exercises to work out your abdominal muscles to have a toned belly.

Does running affect your chest and breasts?

Running doesn’t shrink your breasts. If you do regular running and have a balanced diet with a calorie deficit, you may notice that your chest area will also become smaller with time, while you continue to lose fat from your body.
Work out on your pectoral muscles, if you want a fuller look to your breasts.

What can you do to enhance some of these effects?

Running increases the lean muscle up to a certain point. Increased running will not increase your lean muscle beyond this point. Therefore running should be combined with weight training to achieve the desirable level of muscle/ fat ratio and gain the shapely toned body you always dreamed of.

What is weight training or strength training?

Weight training is physical training which involves lifting weights. This will help you gain a certain amount of muscle mass while reducing body fat.

According to American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), exercisers aiming to improve strength and power should perform exercises for 8-12 repetitions. If you wish to improve muscular endurance, perform 10 -15 reps of each exercise using a lighter weight. It is important to rest for 2-3 minutes in between weight lifting.

Running is the most popular and effective method of aerobic training. You can start slowly and increase intensity and go for longer distances with time. Aerobic training is the optimal mode of exercise for reducing fat mass.

If you practice poor dietary habits, however much you run will not help you to lose weight or achieve a slim body. Aerobic exercises such as running also control your appetite thus helping you to maintain a regular balanced diet.

What is meant by a good running technique?

Maintain upright posture and a slight forward lean – The female runner should maintain a relaxed frame and it is essential to have an upright and a stable posture. When the body is not tense or rigid, it helps to prevent injuries. As a runner, you should not tilt your chin up or scrunch your shoulders. Use the core of your body to maintain a relaxed and an upright posture.

By leaning slightly forward, the female runner can place center of gravity on the front part of the foot. This can avoid landing on her heel. This posture facilitates the use of the spring mechanism of the foot. This also prevents the runner from landing her foot in front of the center of gravity which can result in a braking effect.

Learn how to breathe while running. Deep breathing will enhance your lung capacity.

What are the negative effects of running on the female body?

Many injuries can occur if you are not careful with your running, especially if you don’t maintain the proper running technique and not warming up prior. Repetitive stress on tissues without adequate recovery time is one of the main reasons for injuries.

How to reduce some of the injuries which occur to the female body while running?

  • Warm up before running
  • Focus on the correct running technique
  • Perform strength training exercises
  • Allow time for recovery
  • Apply ice on sore muscles
  • Eat a regular balanced diet with essential nutrients
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration while running

Female runners will notice that their thighs and calf muscles are more toned and lean whereas your arms may look flabby. To prevent flabby arms or batwing appearance, focus on exercising and toning your arm muscles as well as stronger upper back. You may achieve this by practicing dumbbells, push- ups, triceps dips, planks, punches and wall push offs.

You can get help from a physical trainer on how to do these to get toned arms.

Tips to gain a bigger butt

Uphill sprint

As you lift your body weight up a slope, uphill sprints build muscle mass and power, thus making your glutes bigger. Speed training employs a technique called sprint loading, which increases the resistance in running workouts.

You can load a sprint by running hills or a staircase. Uphill sprints will make the demand on your gluteal muscles equal to an Olympic lift. Use a 6-10% grade hill and perform 1-2 ten second sprints at the end of an easy run.

Run on the beach

When you run on sand, it is equal to running with ankle weights; as it boosts the load of a run. This will build up your glutes making your butt bigger. Your gluteal muscles have to work harder to plant your feet, displace the sand and then lift the feet up again. Therefore, you have to spend more energy to run on a sand surface than on a hard surface.

Since running on sand is on an unstable surface, it increases the intensity of your work out. This activates your core musculature and glutes stronger.

If you feel that your butt is too small, try doing these glute exercises to develop your gluteal muscles, while continuing your usual running.

Ex: squatting, lunges, hip thrust, barbell deadlift

However, training our glutes 2 -3 times a week should be optimal as this gives the glutes plenty of muscle building stimulus and adequate time to recover and grow.

How can you reduce the size of your butt?

Your butt is not only formed by gluteal muscles but also fat. The recommended time for an adult is 30 -40 minutes of moderate running a day for 3 – 4 times a week.

However if you perform longer runs such as more than an hour a day on a daily basis, it can help to burn excess fat all over your body. It is important to know that you cannot focus only on reducing the size of your butt by running for longer periods. For weight loss you cannot target a particular area of your body. However to lose body fat you have to combine your running with a proper dietary plan in order to create a calorie deficit.

Ex: If you create 500 calorie deficit a day, you can lose approximately 1 pound a week, not only from your butt but your entire body.
Females have a higher percentage of fat than men. This will come in handy for women during long distance running. This additional storage of fat will provide more fuel from slow burning fat.

Female runners and menstrual periods

Many female runners skip their running routine during their periods. However, running during your periods is actually good for you. It is found that running helps to ease symptoms of menstruation such as abdominal pain, cramps and backache because of improvement of the circulation.

As running releases endorphins (feel good chemicals) it will help you to elevate your mood too during your period.

If you are a runner who suffers from menorrhagia (heavy menstrual flow) or severe abdominal pain it is better to avoid running during your period. However, if you feel comfortable enough, watch your intensity of running and do not over do. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Stretching before you run will help relieving abdominal cramps during your period.

Most women have 28 day menstrual cycle which is divided in to 2 phases.

The phase before ovulation (release of egg from your ovary) is called follicular phase. During this time oestrogen levels gradually rise.

The phase after ovulation is luteal phase. Here the progesterone levels are high and body temperature also increases. The period occurs when the egg is not fertilized. Then the oestrogen and progesterone hormone levels drop rapidly, which breaks the endometrium (lining of the womb). This leads to bleeding/ period.

Raising your body temperature during your luteal phase may affect your running especially if you run in warm and humid climates.

The stored glycogen in the body is broken down to give you energy while you run. Follicular phase is more comfortable for female runners because the body temperature is low. Also when oestrogen levels are gradually rising, the glycogen breakdown occurs quickly to release energy.

If you do intense running for prolonged periods, your oestrogen levels can become low with time leading to irregular or scanty periods.

Take home message….

Most advertisements which feature female runners are actually models. If your expectation of running is only to gain that ideal body, you may actually not receive the true happiness of running.

Any woman can run despite their age. While aiming to gain a shapely body, your main focus should be to stay fit and healthy. All women who run will not end up with a slim body.

It is more important to be satisfied with who you are and be happy with the results you achieve by running.

Stop comparing yourself with others and simply get that self-boost and post work out feeling of accomplishment.

Running will not give the desired results immediately, but definitely will, if you give it time.

(also don’t forget to check our selection of the best running shoes for women)

A Runner’s Body Is Not the Physique You See In A Magazine

If you are ready to say goodbye to your backside (and I don’t mean in a good way), then start running. Seriously. Have you ever seen a runner with a really great perky butt? If you said yes, I can almost guarantee they are doing more than just running, or they are 10 years old.

Listen, I love running. I run several times a week, so don’t get your panties in a wad just yet. Running is a great addition to a healthy fitness routine.

Key word: addition. However, you will be very disappointed if you think running alone will get you your dream physique—unless your dream physique includes having a pancake butt.

A runner’s body is not that fit physique you see in Oxygen magazine. All you have to do is go to a marathon or a local 5K and look around. You will see overweight runners, skinny-fat runners and even a few running skeletons, but there will be very few runners with perky bottoms and a six-pack? Why? Because running doesn’t sculpt and tone muscle like people think.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something people talk about in Shape Magazine. The media shows happy, fit and tone women prancing along the beach in their skimpy running gear because it’s an easy sell. Does Nike choose marathon runners to model their running shoes? No, of course not. A marathon runner wouldn’t sell near the number of running shoes as a young fitness model. Fitness models work hard to sculpt their legs and glutes into the product-selling machines they need to be to bring people flocking to stores.

If you rely solely on running, here is what you are in for.

More Fat

Running is pretty safe, inexpensive and convenient. It’s also very efficient for losing weight, almost to a fault. This is why running is so popular, but running may cause you to lose what you want to keep and keep what you want to lose.

While running can help your weight may go down on the scale, what you may not realize is you could be losing valuable muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns throughout the day. This is good for your metabolism, but not good for a runner. A runner’s body is more concerned about going the distance and running efficiently as possible.

Your body’s preferred fuel source for running is stored fat. That may sound like a good thing at first, until you realize what that really means. You can go much further on one pound of fat (fat provides 9 calories of energy per gram) versus one pound of muscle (muscle provides only 4 calories of energy per gram). As a result, your body will be more apt to store body fat since it’s your body’s preferred fuel source for that particular activity.

Runners, who work hard to be very fit, are always shocked when they get their body composition done because many times their body fat percentage is off the charts. While their weight may be within normal ranges, their body fat is normally too high and their muscle mass is too low for their body weight. This is what we call “skinny-fat.” A person can be skinny, but flabby—and that’s not what most people are shooting for when they beginning a running program. No! They want to get fit and look fit.

Less Muscle

Since your body is very smart, and will adapt to your exercise plan, your body makes other changes based on your activity. If your activity is primarily running, your body will do whatever it needs to do to be good at running. In addition to storing the best fuel source (fat), this also means your body will get rid of any unnecessary weight that would slow your body down. Since muscle isn’t as efficient as fat (and doesn’t provide as much energy per gram), muscle is the first thing to go. I’ve experienced this firsthand.

Soggy Bottom Girl

I’ve always lifted weights, but I had a season where I started increasing my cardio and decreasing my weight training. I didn’t do it on purpose. It was just a result of choices I made based on a busy time in my life. With less time in the day to train, I started choosing running and cardio over lifting to keep my weight in check. Though the cardio did keep my weight down, my booty started deflating like a tired old balloon. Before I knew it, my bottom looked like it belonged to an 80-year-old.

My thighs got flabby, my bottom got droopy, and my overall muscularity started shrinking. Sadly, the more muscle I lost, the more cellulite I saw too. Without muscle to firm up the body and give my skin the support it needed, my skin began to show wrinkling and sagging. Even though I weighed less than I had over the previous years, I had lost muscle and gained fat. I was happy with my weight, but I was not happy about my shape at all. Something had to change.

I started to look at my workout schedule and I realized I hadn’t done weighted squats in a while. I had done a ton of air squats, but none with weight. This is also when I realized I was doing way more cardio and less weight training than I used to. I immediately started squatting, lunging and leg pressing my way to a fitter lower body—and I started getting results fast.

In addition to increasing my lower body weight training, I pumped up my protein and started adding sprints to my runs too. Sprints are a fantastic leg- and glute-sculpting cardiovascular exercise. Have you seen the women who sprint in the Olympics? OMG. If you haven’t you have to google it. They don’t just win the gold for speed, they have award-winning bottoms, legs and abs too.

While I still run several times a week to manage my weight and health, I manage my shape with weights. I now make leg day a priority, hitting legs first thing every Monday. If I have to skip a day of weight training, I make sure it’s never a lower body workout that I’m missing.

10 Benefits of Running

  1. Improves your cardiovascular system
  2. Lowers your blood pressure
  3. Convenient and affordable
  4. Burns calories to support weight loss
  5. Helps release mood enhancing hormones to fight depression
  6. Relieves stress
  7. Boosts confidence when you set, and reach, goals
  8. Helps smokers improve lung health and air capacity
  9. Gives you a way to support various causes
  10. Increases longevity because a healthy heart doesn’t work as hard than a heart of an inactive person

My Top 10 Butt Exercises

1. Back Squat The back squat is the mother of all glute exercises and should always be top on your exercise list. Back squats are traditional weighted squats performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To get the most bootiliciousness out of a back squat, it’s important to drive with your heels to engage the glutes and drop it like it’s hot (in other words, go deep).

It’s better to go deep than heavy, so try to do a safe challenging weight for 15–20 repetitions for three to four sets.

2. Straight-Leg Deadlifts Straight leg deadlifts, also called stiff-leg deadlifts or Romanian deadlift, are done with dumbbells or a barbell, and work the hamstrings, glutes and low back. The most common mistake I see with this exercise is people bend at the knee too much or they round their back. Keep your back straight through the entire movement.

Complete 15–20 repetitions for three to four sets.

3. 1-Leg Leg Press Single-leg leg presses will give you a killer glute workout that also works the quads along with the inner and outer thigh. This is definitely a must for any woman wanting nice shapely legs and glutes. Again, drive through your heels, keeping the pressure on your bottom. You will notice this gives your inner thigh a good workout too.

Try going as heavy as you can safely for 15–20 repetitions and three to four sets on each leg.

4. Walking Lunges This is my most loved and hated exercises. I’m not real fond of doing them, but I sure love the results. There is no other exercise, in my opinion, that works the butt like heavy walking lunges. I do weight walking lunges with 25 lb. dumbbells to really fire up the glutes.

Take 30 steps (15 per leg) using 15- to 20-pound dumbbells for three to four sets.

5. Curtsy Curtsies are similar to a One-Leg Romanian deadlift. This is a great glute exercise for someone who has knee problems because it is one of the few butt exercises that does not require you to bend at the knee. You can do this exercise with or without weight.

I normally do 20–25 repetitions on each leg for three to four sets.

6. Stomps Stomp the ground with this bodyweight exercise my husband invented. You will find it really burns the butt and legs up. While you may feel it in your quads first, it’s only because your glutes can take more of a beating than you thighs (yes, your thighs will feel like they are on FIRE, but you’ll survive). The key to this exercise is keeping your weight on your heels and your heels on the ground.

Doing 10–15 repetitions for three sets is enough to wear you out.

7. Cook Hip Lift Cook hip lift is a great butt exercise for people who have low back limitations. Holding the one leg tightly to your chest takes the back extension out of the exercise, shifting all the pressure off your low back and on to your glutes.

Complete 15–20 repetitions on each leg for three sets with little to no rest.

8. Repeater Knee If you have ever done an aerobics class, you’ve probably done a knee repeater. It has been a staple in almost every step aerobics class ever taught. While you may think the exercise is all about moving your knee back and forth, it’s actually the weight-bearing leg that’s doing all the real work. Don’t believe me, do 30–50 repetitions without taking your weight off that weight-bearing leg. If you don’t feel it in your bottom, then someone put some novocaine in your bottom!

This exercise is all about repetition, so do 20–25 repetitions on each leg for three sets with no rest.

9. Step Ups This is an exercise that can go from average to awesome in a jiffy when it’s done correctly. What will make this exercise over the top is working only one leg at a time and keeping the working leg on the bench the whole time. Hold a set of dumbbells and step up on the bench, driving your body up on the bench with your weight on your one heel. Do not return both feet to the ground between reps and do not alternate legs. If you do, you will not get all the goody out of the booty.

Do 15–20 step ups on one leg, then repeat on the other leg. Take a quick rest after both legs are done and repeat for three to four sets.

10. Cable Hip Extension You don’t have to have a cable machine to do this exercise. You can even use an exercise resistance band to mimic the same action. Keep your body upright during this exercise, extending at the hip and maintaining a straight leg without bending over.

Complete 15–20 repetitions, keeping tension on the glutes throughout the entire set. Do both legs for three sets.

10 Ways How Running Changes Your Body

The benefits from running are just amazing! Any runner can tell you good stories about how running has positively impacted their lives. Running immediately improves your mood as the body releases the endorphins which are the feel good hormones. We have all seen the enviable bodies of runners. The long, lean and well-refined bodies are just but some of the benefits of running. Running tones your muscles and improves your cardiovascular health in a big way. People who run often never suffer from heart diseases, stroke or the coronary heart diseases.

Apart from the good mood, running impacts the body shape in several positive ways. Running changes your overall physical health and body composition. So, what are these changes the body undergoes during an average run over some period?

10 Ways How Running changes your body

1. Creates a stronger heart

Running is one of the best cardio exercises one can do from the comfort of their homes without visiting a gym. Running has been found to make the heart healthier and stronger. The strong pumping of the heart after a long run causes the heart to enlarge and decrease the function to the right ventricle. A stronger and healthier heart is a major benefit that prevents heart-related medical conditions. The blood circulation improves as blood vessels dilate.

2. Improved circulation

When we run, the heart beats harder and faster as it tries to pump blood to all parts of the body supplying organs with oxygen. The blood vessels will dilate as they try to get more blood to the muscles. As you make running more regular, the heart becomes stronger as seen above and more efficient at pumping blood. The body arteries, muscle cells, lung capacity and blood volume adapt to better exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. More capillaries that aid in gas exchange are developed. The improved circulation reduces the risks of arterial sclerosis and blockage of arterial pathways that cause heart attack and stroke.

3. Improved lung capacity

Lungs benefit greatly from running. When people start running, their lungs initially struggle to keep the body supplied with oxygen. However, this will change after some time as the lungs increase and can supply the body with oxygen better. Breathing feels normal and natural. Improved lung capacity allows you to engage in activities without running out of breath easily.

4. Gorgeous Calves

Developing gorgeous calves is probably among the first things you will notice about your body after running for some time. Your calves will be the nicest part of your legs. The legs feel stronger and sharp. Running is one of the best ways to develop great calves without calf raises.

5. A stronger core

Our body core holds us strong when standing to keep us well balanced. Running makes the core stronger giving us the much-needed stability. A strong core is beneficial in so many ways. It is the basis for an excellent six-pack. A stronger core will make you handle tougher tasks without getting tired faster. A stronger core is developed as running puts pressure on it.

6. Increased metabolism

Running will greatly boost your metabolism rates as the body gets used to burning calories faster. Improved metabolism helps supply the body with energy while helping burn calories. It is a great way for people to lose weight while preventing weight gain. The body energy requirement increases as people run making the body metabolize faster.

7. Improved muscular endurance

When you run, your body is moved like a projectile. The continuous contraction of the body muscles keeps the body in motion. Parts of the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and calves contract and relax in repeated motion throughout the run. This improves the muscle endurance by improving the capacity of the creating more energy through the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats. Improved muscular endurance will make you run for long without getting tired fast. Performance in the day to day activities will also be improved greatly.

8. Decreased body fat

Reducing the amount of fat in your body in beneficial in so many ways and running plays a big role in reducing the fats. Running is a great aerobic exercise that increases the caloric burn during the period of running and for an extended period. When the body fat goes down, muscles in the runner become prominent giving people that athletic physique. Decreasing the number of fats improves your physical appearance while keeping you at bay from heart diseases.

9. Better bone density

Running can greatly improve your overall bone density. Running builds bones and most runners have strong bones. Bones reform to stress by better handling the pressure that comes with running. The weight bearing bones of the legs, the pelvis, and the spine tend to be stronger than bones found in inactive people. High bone density is health and preventing unnecessary fractures. Individuals with high bone density usually have low risks of osteoporosis and other related bone fractures.

10. Overall body fitness

Running makes you fit overall in several ways apart from the bones and muscles. Running improves your cardiovascular system while improving your body’s ability to burn more calories. People who run often are fitter and have a rocked body figure than those who don’t run. Running makes the bones stronger as they can withstand the weight of the body and the stress of running.

Final Verdict

Running is one of the easiest cardio workouts people can perform from their homes without the use of any machines. Running can change your body composition in a positive way. In body composition, the muscles become lean; bones become strong and denser; organs are healthier and fat in burned more. What more can you want from running other than better health and overall fitness? The legs and buts become toned without the use of any body building supplements.

To experience these body changes, run consistently five to seven times a week for a period not less than 30 minutes. Keep your running intensity moderate at first and increase it with time as your body gets used to running. Running on a regular basis will change your body out and inside making you a better person. The mind will feel relieved, and you will feel stress-free for most of the time. There are just so many benefits for running.

Good Read: How To Pick The Right Running Partner

Running a Mile a Day Keeps Sickness at Bay

Your body weight and age are two factors that determine how fast you can run. An average person takes up 20 to 30 minutes to knock out a mile, while it only takes a mere 11 minutes for a fast runner. Regardless whether you are a slow or fast runner, running a mile day can benefit you in ways aplenty. Doing so can help you burn 121 calories, which is equivalent to the 14 oz. chocolate pudding you just ate for dessert.

If you can devote one or two hours of your time watching shows on YouTube or Netflix, why not going out for a quick run, as well? Continue reading to learn more about its amazing benefits!

Benefits of Running a Mile Each Day

1. Strengthens the heart

Strengthening your heart is as easy as running a mile a day. It also lowers your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Running is a simple, yet vigorous physical activity. It gets your heart pumping, which leads to an increase in heart rate. An increased heart rate is not always a red flag for a heart condition. Unless your body is at rest, an increase in heart rate is actually advantageous.

Running trains your heart to become more efficient at delivering oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout your body. Ultimately, this improved efficiency will sustain, despite your heart beating at a normal rate when you’re at rest.

2. Tones muscles & increases bone density

Contrary to myths, running won’t fracture your bones. You can take an athlete’s word for it!

Running is a form of high-impact exercise. Just like muscles, your bones instantly react to the pressure caused by your foot each time it hits the ground. This phenomenon increases bone density, causing them to become stronger.

Likewise, your leg muscles contract and relax alternately; thus, making them stronger and leaner. You simply can’t find a professional runner who doesn’t own a pair of firm legs that could kick like a horse.

3. Provides therapeutic effects

Run a mile a day to fight depression and stress. Endorphins are released by the body when you run. These chemicals interact with the opiate receptors of your brain and provide an analgesic effect. In other words, it reduces your perception of pain and correlates to a positive feeling.

4. Promotes respiratory health

In addition to improved circulation, running also promotes respiratory health. Run a mile a day, and you’ll see how everyday tasks such as climbing stairs, chasing after your children or carrying heavy items become an easy feat.

How to Prepare for a Run

If you think a brand new pair of sneakers is all you need, then you are wrong. Below are helpful tips to ensure running is enjoyable and effective. Warming up is an important prelude to any physical activity as it prepares the muscles to work.

Eat wisely

Food is your fuel, so make sure you eat before you run. If you’ve had a heavy meal, wait for two to three hours before running. A full stomach causes discomfort and reduces your performance.

Opt for highly digestible foods if you want to head out as soon as possible. Recommendations include granola bars, oatmeal, or toast for carbohydrates, as well as nuts or grilled meat for protein. Fatty foods such as bacon and fries will sit on your stomach for a while, so they are best avoided.

Wear the proper attire

For women, a good sports bra and a moisture-wicking pair of tights or capris are the best choices. Men, on the other hand, should choose running shorts instead of heavy jogging bottoms for freedom of movement. Steer clear from all-cotton shirts and socks as this will make you feel as though you just dunked yourself in a puddle.

Moreover, choose a decent pair of running shoes that provide your heel a snug fit, as well as enough wriggle room for your toes. Unlike a regular pair of shoes, running shoe feature midsole cushioning and arch support. Both features lessen the stress placed between your ankles and heel when running. Therefore, running shoes provides stability and safety for enhanced body mechanics.

Keep yourself hydrated

The importance of a well-hydrated body can’t be stressed enough. Drink a lot of water during the day, but avoid chugging more than two glasses for half an hour before you run. Otherwise, you will find yourself bloated and needing to urinate while you’re out.

Keep Running

Running 1 mile a day can pave the way for a number of health benefits. It is an exercise that benefits your body and soul. For when you run, your imagination flies as you breathe in fresh air and gaze at your wonderful surroundings!

However, running isn’t simply putting one foot after the other. You also need to observe proper dietary habits and other necessary adjustments to optimize your greatest wealth: your health.

When a volunteer labeled students as unfit and out of shape, school administration took immediate action. With the kids.

Primary students at St. Ninians elementary in Stirling, Scotland were sent outside that afternoon and instructed to run around the playing field. Their collective exhaustion and disappointment started what’s now known as the Daily Mile, according to an article in the Guardian.

For 15 minutes a day, every day, students walked or ran outside to improve fitness. Their sharp improvement encouraged other classes to join and the Daily Mile eventually spread beyond St. Ninians to 3,600 primary schools in 35 countries. The initiative was studied and has resulted in improved fitness and body composition among primary school children, as well as increased active time and decreased sedentary behaviour.

Most notably, researchers state that kids are not just learning, but doing and feeling the benefits. These benefits can carry into adulthood too, as stated by Craig Williams, director of the children’s health and exercise research centre at the University of Exeter.

“If you are generally active as a youngster, it has a moderately positive effect in terms of your intention and commitment to being active as an adult,” he said.

Other long-term outcomes of an active childhood include higher bone density in adulthood, which means less risk of fractures and osteoporosis in later life.

Despite all the evidence, some still question the timing of the Daily Mile. So in 2016, Williams and 23 other researchers answered the skepticism with a consensus statement: “Time taken away from lessons for physical activity is time well spent and does not come at the cost of getting good grades. Physical activity has been found to boost young people’s brain development and function, as well as their intellect.”

Not to mention that running outside in daylight can advance the body clock and affect cognition and alertness, which is especially helpful for teenagers experiencing puberty.

In the six years since the first run at St. Ninians, the Daily Mile has been adopted by half of the Scottish primary schools and prompted the launch of the Daily Mile Foundation, a place for other schools and organizations to join the movement. Check out the link for resources to bring to your local elementary school. Fifteen minutes is all it takes.

Non-runners view running as a painful, tedious, and exhausting form of exercise that should be avoided unless you’re trying to get in shape and lose weight. The post-workout panting and muscle soreness may do more for your health, though, than just shed the pounds and tone you up. Running just five minutes a day can actually reduce your all-cause risk of mortality and let you breathe in three more years of life.

Currently, only five percent of American adults do some sort of physical activity on any given day, according to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. These vigorous physical activities include using cardiovascular exercise equipment and running. The average healthy adult should actually be doing at least two hours and 30 minutes each week or aerobic physical activity at a moderate level, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or one hour and 15 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a vigorous level.

Running is considered a vigorous-intensity aerobic activity that can help you meet your physical activity requirements and benefit your overall health. You don’t have to run fast to make an impact. Fifteen minutes of brisk walking, or better yet five minutes of running is all it takes to reap the mortality benefits of the most accessible sport.

It’s time to lace up and hit the pavement to chase the benefits of running five minutes every day.

1. Better Brain Performance

Exercise is able to raise heart rate and increase the flow of oxygen-rich blood in the body, including the brain. A 2013 study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found shorter term aerobic exercise, like running, improves brain, cognition, and cardiovascular fitness in healthy aging adults. Sedentary adults who exercise regularly can lead to an increase in brain blood flow to the hippocampus — the key brain region that is affected by Alzheimer’s disease. It’s important to know while physical exercise is associated with a selective or regional brain blood flow, it does no produce a change in global brain blood flow.

2. Better Mood

Whether you’re having a bad day or you’re in a good mood, running will boost your spirits and make you feel positive. Runners actually have attested to the alleged “runner’s high,” which is the feeling people get after they’ve finished a good job or run. Intense endurance activity is suspected to lead to an increase in endocannabinoids – the brain chemicals that signal pleasure, according to a 2012 study published in The Journal of Experimental Biology. The “neurobiological rewards” theory of the runner’s high could also imply we as humans have evolved to enjoy running.

3. Better Sleep

Going on a daily morning run can become your sleeping aid for getting a good night’s sleep. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found those who run regularly in the mornings showed an improvement in objective sleep. Subjective sleep quality, mood, and concentration during the day improved, whereas sleepiness during the day decreased. Although the study focused on running during the day, an afternoon or night run can also reduce sleeping difficulty through its body-heating effects. Exercise is known to trigger an increase in body temperature, and the post-exercise drop in temperature may promote falling asleep. Moreover, exercise can reduce sleeping problems by decreasing arousal, anxiety, and depression.

4. Reduces High Blood Pressure

Men and women at all blood pressure levels can benefit from regular aerobic activity, including running. Although running can cause blood pressure levels to spike temporarily, these exercise-induced elevations in blood pressure should not be of concern. The benefits of running for five minutes a day can also be achieved by 15 minutes of brisk walking, says the American Heart Association. It can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes as much as running.

5. Reduces Cardiovascular Disease

Running for 5 minutes every day can cut your risk of cardiovascular disease by almost half. People who run regularly have a 30 percent lower risk of death from all causes, and a whopping 45 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Weekly running, even 5 to 10 minutes a day and at slow speeds less than 6 miles per hour, will suffice to reduce the risk of mortality, compared with not running.

6. Increases Lifespan By Three Years

Running does not only reduce the odds of cardiovascular disease, it can add years to your lifespan — specifically three. People who exercise regularly are found to live an average of three years longer than their sedentary counterparts, according to the study previously mentioned. Adding years to your life is as simple as doing a 15-minute walk or a 5-minute run. The substantial and mortality benefits can mean a difference between life and death for sedentary individuals.

Remember, running just five minutes a day can keep your doctor way.

If I run a mile a day will I get in shape

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