Running is epic for the mind, body and soul. But you already knew that. You’ve heard the rumors, tried it out once or twice, seen your mates tagging Runna in their Insta-Stories and used your common sense. The problem is, well, making that all-important step from the sofa to the tarmac can be hard, especially when the sofa is so cozy.
But running is so good for you. Like seriously good for you.
Yepp. Running is that simple yet transformative sport-slash-hobby-slash-activity that can boost your physical and mental well-being in some insanely powerful ways. Whether you're a total noob or a seasoned pavement pounder, the benefits of running are incredible. Think better heart health, happier moods, more resilience and so much more – lacing up can change your life for the better. And to prove it, we’ve pulled together 25 convincing reasons to start running. Trust us: you’re about to unlock a world of endless possibilities.
Improved Cardiovascular Health: Running regularly is proven to strengthen your heart, improve its blood-pumping efficiency and reduce your risk of heart disease. It also enhances blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, and increases the production of good cholesterol (HDL), leading to a healthier cardiovascular system.
Weight Management: Running is also a fantastic way to burn visceral fat and shed excess weight. By simply adding a few runs into your weekly routine, you’ll help boost your metabolism and maintain a healthy weight.
Enhanced Endurance: By challenging your body's limits, running gradually improves your endurance and fitness levels until you suddenly find yourself able to run longer distances at a faster pace without feeling as fatigued. That’s when the urge to push yourself really kicks in and the world of races, events and challenges comes in.
Better Bone Density: Running is a weight-bearing exercise that stimulates the growth and strength of your bones. Regular running helps prevent age-related bone loss, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and promotes overall bone health. Translation: running is gooood.
Stronger Muscles: You probably know this already, but running uses a pretty wide range of muscles in your body, including those in your legs, core, and upper body. It’s awesome. And when you’re consistent with you;re running, you'll find you develop even stronger muscles, as well as improving your posture and enhancing your overall strength.
Stress Relief: Whether it’s the Sunday Scaries or the worst start to a week ever, running is one of the most powerful (and natural) stress relievers, releasing endorphins (you know, the feel-good hormones) that elevate your mood and reduce anxiety. And then there’s the rhythmic motion and meditative aspect of running, which provides a much-needed mental escape from your daily pressures.
Boost Your Immune System: No one likes getting ill (unless the urge to binge-watch every F·R·I·E·N·D·S episode kicks in and you need an excuse), which is why regular running is so good. Yepp. It strengthens your immune system, making you less susceptible to the common cold and flu. That’s because it boosts your production of white blood cells, which help fight off infections and keep you healthy.
Mental Clarity and Focus: Guess what?! Running has also been proven to improve your cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain. What does that mean? How about better concentration, sharpened focus, and overall better mental clarity, making you more productive in your daily activities.
Sleep Way Better: Engaging in regular physical activities (you know, like running) promotes better sleep. That’s because running helps regulate your sleep patterns, improves your sleep quality, and reduces the likelihood of sleep disorders, all of which land in the same endzone: a more restful night's rest.
Increased Energy Levels: Contrary to what you might presume, running actually boosts your energy levels. Mmm hmmm. Regular running will improve the way oxygen and nutrients are delivered throughout your body, leading to better vitality and reduced feelings of fatigue. Who would have thunk it?!
Boost Your Confidence: There’s just something about setting yourself a goal, working towards it, training hard and then achieving it that feels so good. It could be a 5K race or multi-day ultra, completing a challenge you set yourself will boost your self-esteem and confidence. You just get this incredible feeling that you can achieve anything, and that translates into every area of your life.
Sense of Community: When we started Runna, we did it with the purpose of creating a community. To connect – and help others connect – with like-minded individuals, and it’s one of our favorite parts of the brand. And you can get that same feeling through local running clubs, events, or our online communities. The sense of camaraderie and shared passion creates a supportive network that inspires and motivates.
Natural Antidepressant: Life can be hard. It can be tricky and overwhelming and stressful and lonely, all of which affects your mental health. But running can actually have a profound impact on exactly that. The release of endorphins during a run elevates your mood, reduces symptoms of depression, and fosters a sense of happiness and well-being.
Increased Lung Capacity: The more you run the better your lung function will be for the simple fact that you will be increasing your oxygen intake and strengthening the respiratory muscles. And the best part: over time, you'll notice greater lung capacity, improved breathing efficiency, and enhanced overall respiratory health.
Disease Prevention: Running on the regular will also reduce the risk of various chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, strokes, and even high blood pressure, while also helping to manage existing conditions and improve overall health outcomes. That’s gotta be reason enough to lace up.
Improved Posture: We touched on it above, but running will strengthen the muscles responsible for maintaining good posture. As your core and back muscles become stronger, you'll notice an improvement in your posture, reducing the likelihood of back and neck pain as you get older… say over 27, when you suddenly feel achy.
Better Brain Health and Memory: Running is really good at stimulating the production of new brain cells and enhancing neural connectivity, improving cognitive function and memory. In fact, it has even been linked to a reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.
Time for Reflection: We all need to escape the noise and enjoy some alone time (not that kind!). That’s what running does. It gives you a chance to enjoy some self-reflection and introspection. The solitude and uninterrupted time on the road allows you to clear your mind, gain perspective, and tap into your inner thoughts and emotions.
Natural Anti-Aging: Did you know that running can actually slow down the aging process by boosting the production of collagen, improving skin elasticity, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles? That’s right. Running actually helps you maintain a youthful appearance and feel vibrant from the inside out.
Setting and Achieving Goals: There’s something seriously empowering about setting personal goals and then working towards achieving them. Whether it's completing a race, running a faster 10K, or conquering a technical trail, the sense of accomplishment is incredibly rewarding.
Enhanced Resilience: One of the most unsung parts of running is the way it teaches you resilience as you push through those physical and (mainly) mental barriers. The determination and discipline you learn to cultivate through running will then translate into your everyday life, making you more resilient in the face of challenges.
Inspiration for Others: You may not notice this, but when you start on your own running journey, you will 100% inspire others around you to prioritize their health and well-being. They’ll see your smile, your glow, your sense of achievement and be powered to motivate themselves. Who knows, the power of social media may also encourage total strangers to start their own running adventures too.
Exploration and Adventure: Talking of adventures, running is pretty awesome at providing an opportunity to explore new routes, parks, and trails, allowing you to discover hidden gems in your surroundings (and far away when you travel). There’s almost a sense of adventure when you get around on foot, and the chance to connect with nature in a unique way can’t be undersold.
Improved Balance and Coordination: Running requires both balance and coordination and, like anything in life, regular practice improves these skills. And the best part: enhanced balance reduces the risk of tripping up on a trail run or injuring yourself before a big race.
Joy and Freedom: Last but certainly not least, running has this way of making you smile. Like an ear to ear one. A smile that you can feel deep in your soul. It brings this immense sense of joy and freedom as you run from here to there, the wind in your hair, the rhythmic beat of your feet, and the feeling of pushing your limits all coming together to create a unique experience that fills you with pure exhilaration.
The way we’ve always seen it, running is more than just a physical activity; it's a life-changing endeavor that encompasses physical, mental, and emotional benefits. From improved cardiovascular health to enhanced mental clarity, running has the power to transform your life in countless ways. So, lace up your shoes, sync up your running plan, embrace the joy of the road, and embark on a journey that will lead you to discover the best version of yourself.