Welcome to the world of running. Here are 5 good reasons to start running today:
1. It’s one of the best ways to lose weight.
In order to get rid of unwanted pounds, you have to burn more calories than you consume. Running is more intense than any other form of cardiovascular exercise. It raises your heart rate more than cycling, swimming or other aerobic exercise can. That means you can burn more calories in less time.
2. It boosts your self-esteem.
When you feel better about your body, you feel better about yourself. Running gives you a stronger, healthier heart and lungs, to say nothing of shapely, muscular legs.
3. It eases tension and relieves stress.
Running is relaxing, or at least it should be. There’s something soothing about the rhythm of your breathing and your feet on the ground. Running gives you a chance to think, to put the stresses of everyday life into perspective. It can also trigger the release of endorphins, natural chemicals that ease pain and elevate your mood (what some people call a “runner’s high”).
4. It helps you live a longer, happier life.
Running, like other forms of aerobic exercise, makes your heart stronger, which reduces your risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. It also helps control blood pressure and cholesterol, two other major risk factors for heart disease. It also strengthens your leg muscles, leading to stronger bones, something especially important to women as they get older.
5. It’s inexpensive and convenient.
The only equipment you really need is shoes and clothes. You don’t have to join a health club or sign up for a class to run. Just go to the park, or to a local high-school track, or even step out the door.