5 Reasons to Go for a Run Today

06/06/2012

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June 6 is National Running Day, when pavement pounders all over the country unite to celebrate their passion for running. Whether it takes you five minutes to run a mile or 15, running can offer some big health benefits. A study that came out this week found that even just running 10 miles a week can keep your heart healthy! Need some motivation to lace up your running shoes? Check out these five healthy reasons to get moving:

  1. You'll Make Better Decisions. Studies show that physical activity, especially running, may spur activity in the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain that is associated with planning, scheduling, strategizing and organizing). A pre-work jog may mean you'll be more likely to be brilliant in your morning meeting.
  2. You'll Be Calmer. Regular exercise is associated with reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. Why? While you're sweating, your body is releasing neurotransmitters and feel-good endorphins that can relax you and ease depression.
  3. You'll Burn Major Calories. If you're watching your weight, running gives you the most bang for your exercise buck. For a 155-pound woman, 30 minutes of jogging at 6 mph burns about 370 calories while hopping on an elliptical trainer burns about 330 calories and pedaling on the stationary burns about 260.
  4. You'll Age Better. A 2008 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that runners who were entering their golden years had fewer disabilities, a longer span of active life, and were half as likely as aging nonrunners to die early deaths.
  5. You'll Sleep Like a Baby. Getting the recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise can help you get the shut-eye you need. A 2011 study found that participants who met these guidelines were 65% less likely to report feeling tired during the day compared to those who weren't as active.

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The Discovery Fit and Health team brings you the latest (and most interesting) health news as well as exclusive interviews, video clips, and other juicy tidbits from your favorite shows.
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