Running for Fun: Why running is good for you

Anthony Hernandez, Staff Writer

Have you ever exercised in your life? If yes, then you probably have run at least a few, if not many times in your life. Running is an exercise we all either do, or used to do. It’s a part of our DNA. Even people who don’t like to run have run sometime in their life for gym class in school, or to run away from a big dog. Here are reasons and explanations for why running helps your body mentally and physically.

Running makes you happier
Even if running isn’t your thing, any sort of exercise including running makes you feel better. An example for this is a thing called the “runner’s high.” It’s that rush of feel-good hormones known as endocannabinoids (it helps you when you are feeling down or stressed). In a 2006 study published in the Medicine and Science section of Sports and Exercise magazine, researchers found that even a small workout or exercise that is at least 30 minutes, like walking on a treadmill, could instantly lift or change the mood of someone who is sad, mad, depressed, or stressed. So, when it comes down to running, it’ll make you way happier, and it’ll help you reduce stress or forget your problems in life. Cottonwood’s biology teacher and Track/XC coach Jason Baker says “I just like being out in front knowing how fast I am. So I love to run because I like to be fast.”

Running helps you lose or maintain weight
When you’re exercising, you burn lots of calories whether it’s lifting weights or just working out. Let’s say you run a mile in 10 minutes, you’ll burn around 114 calories just for running. Even if you’re not timing yourself, every mile you run, you’re burning  about 100 calories, which is a great way to lose weight faster instead of using supplements that will hurt your body later on in life. If you want to lose weight the quicker and all natural way, go get a pair of running shoes (do some research on running shoes before you go buy them), buy some running clothes, and go out for a long run.

Running strengthens your body
When you run, you are using not only your muscles, but you’re using your bones, joints, knees, etc. As you continue on your run, your muscles begin to release lactic acid to signal to your brain that you’re running. This will help your muscle cells to continue to break down glucose, and you’ll bring more oxygen to your body, which will cause you to breath heavier. However, the more you run, the more muscle fibers you will be using. Which will make those muscles you’re using stronger, meaning you’ll be able to have more endurance in your body, and you’ll be able to run longer without feeling tired,and the most important muscle that running will strengthen is your heart.

Running strengthens your heart
When you exercise in general, like lifting weights on your biceps, it makes your biceps bigger and stronger, same thing goes for running. When you run, you’re not only strengthening your knees, joints, and calves, you’re also strengthening the most important thing that we humans need to stay alive: our heart. When you run, your heart beats faster, it is pumping more and more blood which will lower your pulse rate and intake a higher amount of oxygen to your body which is healthy for your body. After a while, as the heart can handle pumping a larger amount of blood per beat, this helps the heart perform its job with ease. It will reduce your risks for heart disease because of how much bigger and stronger your heart is becoming. It also improves blood pressure and blood sugar.

Stronger immune system
When you run, your immune system will start to boost by circulating protective cells through the body faster. They attack and eliminate bacteria, viruses and fungi. Basically, when you run more, you are less likely to get common illnesses such as the flu, a cold, and it can also prevent cancer as well. However, it’s not just running, it’s what you drink that’ll help running make your immune system stronger, it’s called carbohydrate drinks. Carbohydrate is any large group of organic compounds that are in foods (dairy, fruits, grains, and beans) and living tissues that include sugars, starch, and cellulose. They contain hydrogen and oxygen in the same ratio as water which is 2:1, and they can be broken down to release energy into the body.

Running motivates you
Let’s say you decide to run a 5K (3 miles) race, and as you are about to pass the finish line, someone beats you. That makes you want to train harder than before, so when you race in the 5K with the same person, you’ll be able to push yourself to beat that person who beat you before. Although running is nothing more than putting one foot in front of the other, after you complete a 5K, you’ll understand how much energy it takes to finish the race. You’ll want to be better and faster, and each race you do motivates you to do better and to fix your mistakes. Not only does running motivate you to run faster, but it also motivates you to not give up on anything in your life.