The number of people who are keen on running every day. We can see more and more runners on the streets and treadmills. Many started out with light jogging. Interest in running is clearly growing – and this is evidenced by the growing number of groups that come together in parks for running together. And it is quite understandable that against the background of this picture, you have questions about how this hype works.
To interrupt reflections on the topic “What would happen if …?” In this article we will try to answer all the questions about running and consider the pros and cons of this cardio workout.
Pros of Running
Although we know that any issue is best viewed from all sides, we are always in favor of fixing attention on the positive aspects. If we talk about running, then there are many positive aspects. Here are five positive aspects of running that we found.
1. Strengthening the Circulatory System
The number one reason many people engage in this type of physical activity is because they want to improve cardiovascular health. And rightfully so: running does improve heart health.
Running strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system in general, increases your VO2 max.
2. Burning Calories
It’s no secret that running is a good exercise for burning calories. Whether you want to lose weight, keep your figure in check, or just want to find an activity that will help you maintain a certain percentage of body fat, then running is the sport that can help you achieve these goals.
3. Strengthening the Joints
Much has been written and talked about injuries and how they can be prevented, especially when it comes to running. But did you know that as long as you run in the right running shoes that provide the right landing and cushioning for your foot, running will actually help strengthen your bones and joints?
It is important for newcomers to the sport to increase distance and running activity gradually, week after week, as if you put too much stress on your body, the possibility of injury becomes more likely. However, if you increase the load gradually and run in good, carefully selected running shoes, running can significantly improve the health of your joints.
4. Lower Body Workout
It happens by itself. If you need a lower-body workout that includes cardio, start running – if you haven’t run uphill yet, then you are missing out on a lot! The day after running uphill, you will feel how actively your legs worked – delayed muscle pain syndrome will not keep you waiting.
Core activation is essential to proper running technique, which means running affects the upper body as well. And if you do hand exercises while running on hilly terrain, you get a full body workout.
5. Time to Think
If you haven’t started running yet, then this reason deserves to start.
During exercise, endorphins are produced, and running is no exception! Endorphins are known to improve mood and help cope with stress. In addition, while running, you get personal space, the opportunity to ponder a question or reflect. You can think about your long-term plans or plans for the day ahead – whatever it is, running is the perfect time to think and make decisions.
Cons of Running
While we don’t like focusing on the cons, it’s worth looking at the issue from different angles. At the end of the day, we want to know if running is actually good for us.
We touched on injuries when we talked about the benefits of running. Although running strengthens the body, it is very easy to get injured in this sport.
If you are new to running, even if you have previously done cardio workouts such as cycling or swimming, and you have good training, it would be good to follow the beginner’s program. Running is a high-impact sport, so to reduce the risk of injury, we need to take care of our joints from the first days of training.
Split shins (pain in the front of the lower leg), sprained hip flexors, and sore knees are common traumatic effects seen among runners. If you are not ready for additional strength training in the gym or at home, we recommend that you choose another type of cardio workout, with less stress.
2. Muscle Imbalance
It is known that running can lead to muscle imbalance, and yet this fact cannot be a good reason to stop running. The legs do a lot of movement while running, unlike the upper body, and the upper body does not undergo the same load, which can lead to imbalances, especially if you skip workouts aimed at strengthening the upper.
Core muscles are a very important mechanism involved in running. This is why it is highly recommended to train your upper body to improve running and prevent muscle imbalances.
After looking at the issue from different angles, we found that there are more positive aspects in running than negative ones. Running isn’t for everyone, however, and we advise you to listen to your body.
By doing full-body workouts in parallel with running, you reduce the risk of injury and prolong the enjoyment of the sport.
If running is your favorite way to move, then our advice is to take action! Start with small distances and gradually increase them.