Introduction

Non-runners
consider running as an exhausting, tedious, and painful form of exercise that
should be avoided at all costs unless you are trying to lose weight and get in
shape. However, the post-workout muscle soreness and panting may do more for
your health than just tone you up and shed the pounds. In fact, running for
just 10 minutes a day can actually let you breathe in a few more years of life
by reducing your all-cause risk of mortality.

Running
is deemed an intensive and vigorous activity that not only helps you meet your
physical activity requirements, but benefit your overall health as well. You
need not run fast to make an impact- twenty minutes of brisk walking or ten
minutes of running is all it takes to gain the mortality benefits of this
accessible sport. Below, therefore, we take a look at 4 reasons why you should
lace up and hit the pavement as part of your exercise program for the new year
as follows:

1.     
Improved mood

 

Whether you are in a good mood or
having a bad day, running will make you feel positive and boost your spirits. It
is thus little surprise that runners actually attest to a phenomenon known as
runner’s high- a feeling that runners get after completing a run, and which is
akin to how people feel when they finish a good job. Research also shows that
intense endurance activity leads to a surge in brain chemicals that signal
pleasure (endocannabinoids). These apparent neurobiological rewards imply that
human beings have evolved to enjoy running.

 

2.     
Enhanced brain performance

 

Exercise is known to increase heart
rate and consequently the flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body and the
brain. This explains why short-term aerobic exercise like running improves
cognition, brain, and cardiovascular fitness in healthy adults. Further,
sedentary adults who run regularly should benefit from an increased blood supply
to the hippocampus- a key area of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Remember, however, that while physical exercise is synonymous with regional or
selective brain blood flow, it does nothing for overall brain blood flow.

 

3.     
Reduced instances of cardiovascular
disease

 

Running for 10 minutes every day
can cut the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by almost 50%. According
to a 2014 cardiology journal, those who run regularly have a 30% lower
mortality risk from all causes and a jaw-dropping 45% lower death risk from
cardiovascular disease. Weekly running, even for just 5 minutes and at speeds
of less than 5 miles per hour, should suffice if you want to reduce your
mortality risk, compared to living a sedentary lifestyle.

 

4.     
Reduced blood pressure

 

Women and men at various blood
pressure levels can benefit immensely from frequent aerobic activity, including
jogging and running. While running can cause the temporary spiking of blood
pressure levels, such exercise-induced elevations should not be a cause for
concern. Alternatively, the benefits of running for ten minutes a day can also
be achieved by 20 minutes of brisk walking according to the American Heart
Association. It can lower your risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, and high
blood pressure as much as running.

Conclusion

Remember,
just 5 minutes of running a day is enough to keep your doctor away.