What promises a healthier body, a sunnier outlook, and the perfect opportunity to catch up? This is no infomercial. Running is one of the best butt-kicking, calorie-blasting workouts around. Still not convinced? Here are 15 reasons to hit the ground running:
1. Do it anywhere
Run, that is. Whether on the treadmill or in the park, it’s easy to rack up miles. Even better: Lace up your sneakers on your next vacation to explore a new place.
2. Make new friends
Tired of meeting dudes at the bar? Check out local running groups or websites like Meetup and hit the road with other health-minded folks. Twenty questions are just as good during a run (boozy brunches afterward are optional).
3. Save some cash
Forget fancy equipment or a pricey gym membership. When it comes to running, all you need is the right footwear.
4. Visit the doctor less
Apples aren’t the only things that keep the doctor away. Active people are less likely to develop colon cancer. And ladies, women who regularly engage in intense workouts like running can reduce their risk of breast cancer by up to 30 percent.
5. Live longer
Not only do runners have fewer disabilities and remain active longer than their sedentary counterparts, but they actually live longer too. And even as weekly running times decrease with age, the healthy benefits keep on ticking.
6. Get primal
Turns out Bruce Springsteen was right: We were born to run. Running turned us from apes to humans and was used by our ancestors to elude prey.
7. Feel the burn
For a 160-pound person, running can burn more than 850 calories an hour.
8. Bring sexy back
Not only does having a-rockin’ runner’s bod boost confidence in bed, but regular exercise can also help flexibility between the sheets, and get you in the mood more often.
9. Boost memory
Exercise has been shown to help keep the mind sharp. Hitting the track might also reduce symptoms of dementia and protect the brain against Alzheimer’s, even for those with a family history of it.
10. Get a natural glow
Believe it or not, working up a sweat can rid your pores of the gunk that clogs them and leads to breakouts. A solid sweat session can also boost natural oils, keeping things fresh and healthy. (Just remember to remove makeup pre-workout and wash gently afterward to avoid breakouts.)
11. Turn down the pressure
Running is a natural way to keep high blood pressure at bay – and fast. Amping up workouts can help lower blood pressure in just a few weeks.
12. Build stronger bones
Resistance training is awesome, but word on the street is running might help produce even stronger bones than cranking out reps. Running helps build the muscle that lower-impact workouts ignore, keeping bones healthier even as they age.
13. Get an energy boost
Feeling sluggish? Try going for a jog instead of lounging on the couch. Just one run can increase energy and decrease fatigue.
14. Take your furry friends
Dogs are man’s best friend for a reason, and they can be man’s best workout buddy too. Grab a leash and give your pet a new kind of treat.
15. Sleep better
Runners tend to adapt to set sleeping routines in order to keep performance high. Even better: Running encourages higher quality sleep, which translates into better zzzs all night long.