Running is amongst the easiest and cheapest forms of exercise available. Long before there were gyms or team sports there was running.
If you would like to run without all the pressures of preparing for a half marathon, doing a fun run is a great way to get fit and raise money for a deserving charity. You can either train to finish the run with a personal best time, or choose to take things easy and complete the fun run in fancy dress. When you put the fun back in your run everyone benefits. The personal benefits - both physical and mental - of running are many and wide-ranging.
Running strengthens your heart:
This enables your heart to pump blood more effectively around your body, in turn ensuring that oxygen is properly transported around your body. This also keeps your arteries in tip-top condition so that they are better at flushing out harmful fatty deposits that tend to stick to your artery walls.
It helps to lower your blood pressure:
When your arteries are more elastic the flow of blood is facilitated better. This is why long distance runners are very rarely prone to high blood pressure.
It increases your lung capacity:
our body's need to absorb more oxygen means that your capillaries allow blood to pass more easily into your lungs. This in turn strengthens your lungs and maintains healthy respiratory function.
It conditions your muscles:
Running leads to better muscle tone and definition which in turn helps to metabolise fat so large amounts of it don't make itself too ‘at home' in our bodies. Improved muscle tone can also protect your joints from injury during both exercise and daily tasks.
It makes your bones stronger:
Research has shown that running can help to increase bone density, meaning our bones can withstand greater resistance and also endure and heal more rapidly from fractures.
Running also provides many benefits to your mind:
Running can help reduce stress:
You may have heard of the ‘runner's high?’. Running is known to trigger endorphins which in turn can induce a sense of euphoria - Stress receptors are become suppressed, which leads to a sense of wellbeing.
It diminishes depression:
Some practitioners in psychotherapy have been known to suggest running to alleviate clinical depression. Whilst you are running your brain is so focused on the action being undertaken and the anticipation of reaching the destination as well as being caught up in the euphoria of physical movement, that it’s unable to dwell on the negative thoughts that form the basis of depression.
It encourages focus:
Running can offer one of life's sometimes elusive ‘being in the now' moments. There’s no time to fret on the past or worry about the future - it's just you and your body active in the present. Your mind is alert to any potential obstacles and concentrated on the act of running. This combats mental fatigue which can be brought about by stress.
It develops confidence:
There's nothing quite like the sense of achievement felt after reaching a target distance. And with the noticeable physical benefits it's far easier for self-doubt to be squashed and self-belief to be better than ever.
Upcoming fun runs in the Geelong area include:
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your runners and get out there today!