A blog by runners. For runners.

Running does the body good

It’s no secret that running can help keep weight in check and reduce the risk of dangerous conditions, like type 2 diabetes and some cancers. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Running comes with a whole host of health benefits. Here’s how running does your body good:

Head: Relief for migraine sufferers may be found in a pair of running shoes. New research suggests that being active for 40 minutes, three times per week prevents migraines just as well as leading migraine medicines. Mind: The runner’s high is no joke. “Feel good hormones”, called endorphins, are released during physical activity. Endorphins are responsible for lifting your spirits and can help ease stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Brain: Running and other forms of exercise literally boost brainpower. Fit people have better memories, multitasking abilities, and perform better on tests than those who aren’t active. Running also has an immediate impact on alertness. During aerobic exercise, more oxygen flows to the brain, which helps you feel more cognitively aware. Ears: Exercise improves circulation to the ear, which may help preserve hearing. Studies show that fit women have better hearing when compared to those who don’t work out. Eyes: Studies show that people who work out regularly have a lower risk of glaucoma – the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. – than those who don’t exercise. Heart: Running keeps your ticker in tiptop shape. It gets your blood flowing and heart pumping. The faster you run, the harder your heart works, and the stronger it gets. Immune system: Fit people get colds and other infections less often than those who don’t work out. Being fit also helps you recover more quickly when you do come down with a bug. Bones: Don’t fall for the myth that running is bad for your knees. It’s quite the opposite, really. Running can help ward off osteoporosis – a condition that thins and weakens bones and ups the risk for fractures.  Running reduces osteoporosis risk two ways: it keeps weight down (obese adults have a 4 to 5 times higher chance of osteoporosis than non-obese individuals) and the activity strengthens the ligaments around the joints, giving bones a boost and possibly protecting them from arthritis, too. Muscles: Researchers say that exercise sparks cells to generate new muscles. Meaning your running habit may be keeping age-related muscle loss at bay. Skin: Searching for the fountain of youth? Head to the track instead of the cosmetics counter. During exercise, more oxygen flows to the skin -- leaving you with a dewy, youthful glow.

Head: Relief for migraine sufferers may be found in a pair of running shoes. New research suggests being active for 40 minutes, three times per week prevents migraines just as well as leading migraine medicines.

Mind: The runner’s high is no joke. “Feel good hormones”, called endorphins, are released during physical activity. Endorphins are responsible for lifting your spirits and can help ease stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Brain: Running and other forms of exercise literally boost brainpower. Fit people have better memories, multitasking abilities, and perform better on tests than those who aren’t active. Running also has an immediate impact on alertness. During aerobic exercise, more oxygen flows to the brain, which helps you feel more cognitively aware.

Ears: Exercise improves circulation to the ear, which may help preserve hearing. Studies show fit women have better hearing when compared to those who don’t work out.

Eyes: Studies show people who work out regularly have a lower risk of glaucoma – the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. – than those who don’t exercise.

Heart: Running keeps your ticker in tiptop shape. It gets your blood flowing and heart pumping. The faster you run, the harder your heart works, and the stronger it gets.

Skin: Searching for the fountain of youth? Head to the track instead of the cosmetics counter. During exercise, more oxygen flows to the skin — leaving you with a dewy, youthful glow.

Muscles: Researchers say exercise sparks cells to generate new muscles. Meaning your running habit may be keeping age-related muscle loss at bay.

Bones: Don’t fall for the myth that running is bad for your knees. It’s quite the opposite, really. Running can help ward off osteoporosis – a condition that thins and weakens bones and ups the risk for fractures.  Running reduces osteoporosis risk two ways: it keeps weight down (obese adults have a 4 to 5 times higher chance of osteoporosis than non-obese individuals) and the activity strengthens the ligaments around the joints, giving bones a boost and possibly protecting them from arthritis, too.

Immune system: Fit people get colds and other infections less often than those who don’t work out. Being fit also helps you recover more quickly when you do come down with a bug.

What’s your favorite health perk of running? I’m a sucker for endorphins. After a hard run, I always feel on top of the world!

Written by Jen Matz