The [Unseen] Benefits of Running

We all know the benefits of running, right? To be fit, to look good, and to feel good. But, what about those little/lesser known benefits that are so often overlooked?

Since I started my quest to lose weight nearly a month ago, I’ve increased the amount of times that I’ve been exercising per week. My favorite form of exercise should come as no surprise by now: running. After I began to run more, I noticed not only how much better I felt, but other things like my hair being shiner and my face being clearer. Now, I’m not sure if these things have a direct correlation to the increase in exercise or if they have more to do with my exponential increase in showers. I decided to investigate further.

I couldn’t find any websites on exercise and shiny hair, but I did stumble across some interesting findings. So, I thought I’d share some of them.

1) Physical Stamina- This is kind of a no-brainer, right? Duh, running will increase physical stamina. We all know that. But what good is that really? Well it’s good for many, many important reasons such as: BEAR ATTACKS. That’s right, bear attacks. I’m just saying, if I get chased down by a bear in the woods, I might have a strong chance of surviving unless that bear can run 26.2 miles. Sometimes, to take my mind off marathon training, I change the language of the activity to “bear attack training”. It gets me moving every time.

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2) Runners are happier- It’s true. Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. And in the infamous words of Elle Woods “Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands”. I kid, I kid. But seriously, have you ever noticed how much happier you are after you finish an awesome work out? That’s because those endorphines have kicked in. I’ve noticed that I’ve actually been generally more chipper lately at work and outside of work, I attribute at least some of that to my afternoon runs!

3) Better nights sleep- This is an interesting one which I never really thought about. But when I eat greasy food and sit on my butt all day, my sleep is typically interrupted two to three times a night. Since I’ve started exercising more, I usually only wake up once (I’m a really light sleeper) and sometimes not at all!!!

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4) Higher sex drive- That whole physical stamina thing isn’t just good for evading bears. Eh, eh, you know what I’m sayin’? 😉 No use beating around the bush on this one, running increases your cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, strength, and flexibility. Both exercise and sex have also been proven to decrease stress, and who doesn’t want to live a stress-free life?

5) Better eyesight- Well this is news to me. But, apparently two different studies from the U.S. Department of Energy have discovered that running reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. My only question would be: then why is my eyesight SO TERRIBLE?

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Information sources: here, here, and here

Do you notice any changes when you start exercising more? Anything unique or different from what I’ve mentioned?

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2 Comments

  1. Jenna Dillon

     /  January 31, 2012

    I don’t feel tired by mid afternoon. I can stay up all day and not feel like I need a nap, unless I am sick, but I hardly ever get sick anymore. I also need less sleep.

    Reply
  2. Haha! I love these. 🙂

    Reply

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