As humans living in an increasingly fast-paced and interconnected world, many of us are struggling to juggle life’s responsibilities. Unfortunately, it’s often health and happiness that we neglect first. This can result in a whole host of problems and ultimately lead us to burning out.
Nip burnout in the bud by reconnecting with self-care this year. One easy way to do that is to take up running. As this avid runner’s Medium articles point out, the benefits are endless.
Not convinced that a little cardio could change your life? Here are 5 simple reasons to start running in 2022.
Running can reduce the chance of heart disease
Most of us are guilty of neglecting exercise and eating poorly when work and life get stressful. Unfortunately, it’s times like this that our bodies need TLC more than ever, as stress has been consistently linked with high blood pressure and heart disease.
Fortunately, running can bolster your heart health. Research has shown that pounding the pavement for just 10 minutes a day can reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke by up to 45%!
Running may improve your sleep quality
Insomnia is another unfortunate side-effect of a stressful life. If you’re struggling to wind down after work, try incorporating a steady jog or another light aerobic exercise into your evening routine. Although researchers are still trying to decipher exactly why exercise impacts our slumber, we do know that it increases the amount of slow wave sleep we get per night. Slow wave sleep is the deepest stage of sleep and the one in which our bodies most effectively repair and rejuvenate cells. This process is vital for both physical health and cognition.
Running can assist with mindfulness
Mindfulness is a bit of a buzzword in 2022, but not without good reason! In our hectic world, anxiety can run rampant, and mindfulness is a great way to combat that. What is mindfulness? It refers to being fully and non-judgmentally present in the moment. This pairs well with running because of its focus on your senses. When you’re running, feel the grass beneath your feet, smell the blossoms in the air and notice the beat of your heart. Combined with meditative mindfulness, studies have shown that running can actually reduce symptoms of depression by an astonishing 40%.
Running can help you reconnect with friends
Making time to catch up with friends can be a challenge when you’re juggling work and family commitments. By combining your meetup with a run, you can cross both your social and fitness goals off your calendar in one go. Not only is running better for your health than indulging in a boozy brunch together, but working out with a friend has also been proven to increase your likelihood of sticking to your fitness routine long-term.
With advances in technology, you don’t even have to be in the same city to enjoy a fitness date with a buddy. Using a smartwatch, compete for miles and compare routes to stay motivated. To feel more connected, you can even create a shared running playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.
Running can spice up your relationship
Stuck in a relationship rut? Stress and fatigue can often impact sexual desire. Fortunately, research has shown that physical activity, such as running, can actually act as a natural aphrodisiac. Not only does exercise increase your stamina but it can also improve your self-esteem and give you the confidence to bare all to your partner again.
Running has been scientifically proven to support good health and positive habits. Take up running today to jog your way into a happier and healthier 2023.