In today’s desk job world, it’s more important than ever to utilize your body in the way it was intended. The mounting evidence against the adverse effects of sitting down all day continues to grow, while every expert agrees that running (or jogging or even walking) is extremely beneficial towards most health interests, including your immune system and overall happiness. So slip on your favorite exercise footwear and read the following list of some of the lesser-known advantages that this activity provides.
1. You May Reduce Your Bad Cravings
Whether your unhealthy vice is junk food, drugs, or alcohol, performing a quick run has been shown to curb those carb-filled cravings. The cause for this is probably a combination, consisting of a newfound incentive for fitness, a natural fix of dopamine and serotonin, and the overall de-stressing effects of exercise itself.
2. Your Sex Life May Improve
Believe it or not, the connection between your sexual relations and running routine is not exclusively due to your more desirable figure and elated self-esteem. Rather, it’s the lack of physical activity which has been linked to the lowering of testosterone and estrogen, while erectile dysfunction has also been reported. Go have a run to increase your libido and your stamina between the sheets!
3. Your Joints May Strengthen
For many years, athletes were warned that high impact exercises damaged the ligaments and joints. But while it’s important to train properly and know how to identify a potential sprain or injury, this former belief is not as accurate as once reported. In fact, the biggest cause of osteoarthritis is now understood to be obesity, which, of course, is a condition you can fight off by running.
4. Your Creativity May Increase
It’s a common suggestion that if you’re ever stuck on a problem, take a break from it. The time away will grant your brain some breathing space, and will hopefully open your mind to a spark of inspiration elsewhere. However, this connection goes even deeper than this hypothesis, as studies have linked exercise to a general boost of creativity completely independent of any other factors.
5. Your Personal Relationships May Grow
Many couples have discovered a deeper connection when they run together, as they use this time to catch up on their chats or cheer one another on. These benefits could also extend towards meeting new people through running communities, not to mention that any cardio-heavy social activity (such as hiking, team sports, or general traveling) won’t be a problem for your trained physique.
6. You May Live Longer
It’s no secret that regular exercise is one of the greatest assets you have in adding numbers to your body’s shelf life. A stronger physical system is better equipped to fight off infection, a healthier heart rate will decrease the risk of any coronary disease or strokes, and the continuous shedding of calories keeps any unnecessary fat off of your frame.
7. Your Memory May Improve
Among the endless array of mental benefits that running gives you (including reduced levels of anxiety and depression), there is also evidence which suggests that your memory may improve. Based on studies performed on rats, this type of exercise stimulates the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) production, which is associated with your learning functions.
8. Your Carbon Footprint May Reduce
A cleaner environment is in everyone’s best interested, and you can do your part simply by running as a form of commute. Driving to work or the shop is pumping the air full of carbon dioxide, so use your feet to save the planet and to save your petrol money too.
9. Your Brain May Age Slower
Along with improved memory and lowered risk of depression, there is also evidence which links running to the slowing down of your brain’s aging process. As one gets older, the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus tend to shrink which can negatively affect cognitive functions (such as concentration and organizational skills). Thankfully, physical exercise is famous for enhancing all of the organs capabilities, and this includes the maintenance of the brain’s tissue flexibility.
10. You May Sleep Better
As anyone who runs regularly will tell you, a blast of fresh air and increased heart rate will wake you up faster than any cup of coffee can. But what’s more, running has also been linked to helping individuals fall asleep easier, meaning that you can literally run away from insomnia. Sweet dreams!