What are the Main Benefits of Running?
You may be asking yourself, why would I choose to run for a workout, as opposed to other types of exercise such as walking, skating, swimming, or biking. It is a great question. Here at Heart Zones we really believe in the importance of cross-training, so we encourage you to incorporate as many different exercise types into your routine. We love cross training and we originally coined the term. But, Speaking specifically about running, here are a couple of the main benefits of running that we earn when we choose it as our workout of the day or WOD:
Benefits of Running to your Fitness
- Calorie Burning: Running is one of the best ways to burn the most calories in the least time while still strengthening your heart and improving your endurance.. This makes for a potentially better choice for those looking to burn calories and lose weight.
- Mental Health & Stress Relief: Sometimes there is nothing better than getting outside or inside on a treadmill and going for a run to forget about the stresses of everyday life. Although other workouts can provide this, running allows you to get outside and lose yourself in nature – or on streets – while you also improve your health and fitness. If you are running inside we recommend using an iPhone app: Upbeat Workouts for Runners which provides you with stride matched music. Yep, we created the app – the first to do so – because we know you’ll do better often with synchronized music.
Remember to Stretch
One of the most forgotten pieces of a great running workout is pre and post stretching. Take the time before and after your workout to treat your body right and get a good stretch in. Runners are notoriously “tight” and stretching can help. The immediate benefits of stretching are:
- Faster Speed, due to more efficient biomechanics
- More force, due to increased leverage from lengthened muscles
- Faster post-run recovery
Remember your Heart!
As always, remember to consider that the most important muscle to train is your heart. In order to get the most out of your fitness and your training, let your heart guide your workout. Vary the intensity of your run and you will reap the benefits that come from all the different heart rate zones while you spend time in the Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and vigorous Red zones.