Exercise is one of the keys to good health. When you elevate your heart rate and break a sweat, you experience many benefits, including better cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, better weight control, and reduced cholesterol.
So, which form of exercise is right for you? According to the 50 million Americans who consider themselves runners, a running program might be the sport for you. To get a better idea of whether a running program would be a good fit, here are answers to some of the most common questions.
What Are the Health Benefits?
The healthiest forms of exercise are activities that elevate your heart rate, and running is the perfect way to do this. So, if you start a running program, you will likely experience many benefits, such as better immunity, improved cardiovascular health, and reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol.
There are also plenty of mental health benefits. Dr. Jason Campbell explains, “Running can be meditative, helping to improve clarity and focus. Additionally, as running lowers stress and improves your sleep, your mental health will improve, as well.”
How Do I Get Started?
One of the best things about running is that it doesn’t require a big investment of time or money. Because you don’t need an expensive gym membership or a piece of exercise equipment to begin, you can get started right away. Simply put on your running shoes and head out the door.
If you don’t already have a good pair of running shoes, visit an athletic store where you can try on the shoes. There are hundreds of options, but comfort and fit are the most important factors to consider. You may also want to take into account the type of running you plan to do. For example, are you planning to run short distances around your neighborhood or hoping to train and complete a full marathon? With a better idea of how you plan to use your shoes, the salesperson can point you in the right direction. Your new shoes can carry you over long distances, but for best results, replace your shoes every 500 miles.
Is Running a Lonely Sport?
One of the best things about running is the community you instantly become part of. With so many Americans who love to jog and run, it’s likely that you already know several people who are passionate about the sport. A shared love of running can be a great way to break the ice or start a conversation.
If you like the idea of exercising with someone else, consider finding a running buddy. They not only keep you company during runs but can also serve as a source of motivation and support.
Also, if having goals motivates you, consider signing up for an organized run or a marathon. Since there are races designed for all different levels of runners, you should have no trouble finding the perfect one.
Starting a running program can be as easy as getting a quality pair of running shoes and heading down the street. And the rewards can be huge! Being a runner gets you out in the fresh air, makes you part of a larger community, and provides plenty of health benefits. So, lace up and get started today!