6 Reasons to Start Running

Women’s Health Magazine is my go-to for great tips, routines, and just about anything else you can think of pertaining to health and wellness. I saw this link in one of my daily email updates I receive from them and thought it might serve as some motivation for getting me back on track. Enjoy!

1. It’s so easy

True, some high-tech gear will make your run more fun, but really, all you need is a good pair of shoes, and a supportive sports bra. It couldn’t be simpler.
And everyone knows how to run. You may not have perfect form yet, but you already know how to place one foot in front of the other and settle into a comfortable pace.
No new skills to master, no equipment to buy–just get out there and run. If you’ve never laced up before, be sure to check out our run/walk plan to injury-proof your transition into running.

2. Yet so hard

No other exercise matches running for its ability to soak that sports bra. The stair-stepper, bike, and other gym staples work you hard, but running blasts the most calories: In a study done by the Medical College of Wisconsin and the VA Medical Center, the treadmill (used at a “hard” exertion level) torched an average of 705-865 calories in an hour. The stair-stepper (637-746), rower (606-739), cross-country ski machine (595-678) and stationary bike (498-604) were all lower in overall caloric burn.
Running also gives your ticker a world-class workout. When your legs hit their stride they squeeze blood toward your heart, which in turn forces it to pump the blood right back. The faster you run, the harder your heart works and the stronger it gets.

3. Your knees will thank you

Contrary to what your mom says, running doesn’t wreck your joints. Osteoarthritis (the most common type of arthritis), occurs when joint-cushioning cartilage starts to break down. The biggest osteoarthritis risk factor besides age? Body weight. A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that obese women had nearly four times the risk of knee osteoarthritis than non-obese women; for men, it was five times the risk. Runners are much more likely to be at a normal weight than members of the sedentary population, significantly decreasing their risk of osteoarthritis.
It goes further than just the benefits of weight loss, too. Running bolsters your cartilage by increasing oxygen flow and flushing out toxins, and by strengthening the ligaments around your joints. Hitting the trail also gives your bones a boost, helping to prevent osteoporosis.
Though it’s important to treat all running injuries and to replace your shoes often, in the end, running will build your joints up, not tear them down.

For the complete list of reasons visit:  http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/health-benefits-of-running

Why did I start running? I started 3 ½ years ago to lose weight, but stopped after three or four months. It wasn’t until July 2011 that I decided to start back up again. This time, I ran for my health and well-being. (And so I could eat fatty mcfat foods once in a while without feeling horribly guilty.)

What about you? Why did you start (or plan to start) running?