Hit The Pavement: 5 Reasons Running Is The Best Form Of Exercise

by Caroline McGuire

Running is one of the most measurable sports. A little practice goes a long way, and improvement is apparent if you put enough work into it.

For instance, the fastest animal in the world is a cheetah and the slowest is a garden snail. Cheetahs can get as fast as 60 mph; whereas, a snail clocks in at 0.03 mph.

As humans, we fall somewhere in the middle. The fastest human on record, Usain Bolt, maintains an average speed of 23.5 mph.

Running is also one of the easiest sports in which to get involved. You don’t need very much, just a decent pair of sneakers and exercise apparel.

Everyone runs for different reasons; some people do it to stay in shape, while others do it to relieve stress.

The social aspect of running is also appealing to people. No matter what the reason, running is always a good idea, and the health benefits are endless.

Here are just a few reasons you should pick up the habit of hitting the pavement:

Insane In The Membrane: Your Mind is Working Out, Too

According to an adjunct professor of human behavior at Muhlenberg College, James P. Brennan, Ph.D., people are engaging their minds while running.

This state of mind includes problem-solving, wandering to a peaceful state of mind or just hashing out what your day will look like. Brennan explains:

Running gives you the freedom to access those inner processes that the busy outer world often robs you of.

A Run A Day Keeps The Doctor Away: Build Your Immune System

Similar to eating lots of fruits and veggies to maintain a healthy lifestyle and ward off harmful germs, running is also beneficial to building up your immune system.

According to the Harvard Medical School, exercise "may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.”

All In One: Your Abs Are Getting A Workout, Too

While running is mainly beneficial for leg muscle tone and enhancing cardiovascular strength, you are also unknowingly doing an abdominal workout. Running is mostly a full body workout.

A Livestrong article asserts, “Your abdominal muscles give you balance and strength, and help stabilize your spine as you run.” Therefore, your core is fully involved while running and muscle visibility is more apparent.

Happy As A Clam: You Are A More Positive Person

Exercise has a direct correlation with the level of happiness someone exhibits. Furthermore, you are less likely to have depression. Research concludes that there are strong connections between happiness and the amount someone exercises.

Catch Some Zzz's: You’ll Sleep Better At Night

As a runner myself, I find that after a nice long run, I fall asleep a lot faster in comparison to days I don’t run. Additionally, I also sleep more soundly. There is a direct scientific correlation between sleeping better and running.

WebMD conducted an experiment that tested mainly women age 55 and older, who complained of difficulty sleeping and did not exercise. After a 16-week controlled trial, the women reported they slept better at night after a regular exercise routine.

Running is measurable, easy to start and overall, a super healthy way to engage your entire body in a fulfilling workout.