Why Running Is So Good For Your Health

By on February 28, 2012
Man and woman running in the night to improve their health.

The great thing about a good cardio workout is that it strengthens the muscles, including your heart, throughout your body, improves circulation and resting heart rate, and helps you burn calories.

It also increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin so that insulin is used more effectively. These are some of the best reasons to have a good cardio/aerobic thirty minute workout three to four times a week. A good cardio workout also adds to overall wellness, good mental health and reduces stress and depression. Not only does a good cardio workout burn calories, strengthen the heart and enlarge its muscles, it improves circulation and resting heart rate. When you start it is important to stay consistent in your training for the best running and fitness results.

Running Burns Calories

How many calories can you expect to burn during a run? That depends on your running pace and your weight. The lighter you are, the fewer calories you will burn, so someone who weighs 120 pounds will burn about 380 calories per hour while someone who weighs 170 pounds will burn 540 calories. So if these two runners do a ten minute mile, then the 120 pound runner will burn 65 calories per mil, and the 170 pound runner will burn 90 calories per mile. That is also why men ten to lose weight more easily than women. Men tend to weigh more so they burn calories faster and they have increased muscle mass.

Running Outdoors

Your body weight as well as the amount of wind will determine how hard you have to work to burn calories. The harder you work when running the more energy you will burn. The person with the larger muscle mass will burn more calories because muscle burns more energy than fat does ounce for ounce.

The outside temperature will also affect the way your body burns calories. Shivering and moving to keep warm uses more calories. And a tall, thin person has more surface area than a short person does, so there is more heat lost and more calories burned for the tall person. In warm weather your body’s cooling system burns more calories as we perspire to cool down body temperature.

Always Quench Your Thirst

No matter how fast or how far you run, proper hydration is always important. It is very important for maximum efficiency to stay hydrated. And do not let thirst be your guide; if you are thirsty then you are already dehydrated. Before, during and after the run you need to make the time for hydration. You need to take the time to stop and drink – you won’t lost time or distance by doing so.

While running provides a great cardio workout, there are other good fat burning workouts as well, including cross country skiing, power walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, jumping rope, as well as using the stair master, the treadmill and elliptical training systems.