Staying Healthy Through Running
If you're looking to keep in shape and be both physically and mentally fit, then running is the sport or hobby for you.
Endurance. Going on a jog has several major benefits. While many sports let a person experience the outdoors and a sense of adrenaline, running is one of the few sports that sets a constant physical fitness level. When running, you can get into a rhythm - keeping your heart rate high for an extended period of time, not just short bursts. This is very healthy, because your body can develop endurance instead of merely the capacity for physical activity.
Muscles. Running also uses a lot more muscles than you might expect. Almost ever muscle in your leg is used if you run on varied terrain (uphill, downhill, level ground, etc.), but you also utilize your arm, neck, and stomach muscles a good amount as well. When you run for a while, your calf muscles become very strong and defined, which helps greatly with many other activities.
Tone. Going for a jog isn't exactly a muscle-building activity, however. Many runners are skinny and seem less muscular than other sport participants, but in actuality this is merely because running tones muscles more than builds them. Lifting weights at the gym is a good example. In order to gain muscle, you lift close to the maximum weight you can withstand, just a few times. To tone your muscles, you do many repetitions with not as much weight. Running is the same thing - a lot of steps is a lot of repetitions.
Accessibility. Jogging is one of the easiest (if not the easiest) physical activity do participate in. Only shoes are required, and those don't even necessarily have to be running shoes, although they are certainly recommended.
In addition to jogging by yourself, there are several activities to do in conjunction with running to improve your physical fitness and stamina:
- Lifting weights / gym workout
- Racquet sports
The above list certainly doesn't include all of the activities you can do, but it certainly provides some ideas. Running helps you participate in all of the listed activities, and vice versa. Swimmers that run tend to have a lot more endurance in the pool than those who don't run, for example.
Hopefully this article gets you inspired. Go out and have fun!