Starting a running program is a great way to ease into exercise and jump start your fitness. If done properly, you can prevent overuse injuries by slowly increasing your mileage. Here are five benefits of starting a running program:
1. Weight loss
We all know that to lose weight it’s important to exercise. By adding 30-60 mins of moderate exercise three times per week, you will boost your metabolism which will ultimately help get rid of that unwanted belly fat. To maximize weight loss, try reducing your caloric intake by 200-300 calories per day and make sure to eat plenty of vegetables and protein.
2. Increased energy
Running increases blood flow which carries oxygen to muscles. This allows them to produce more energy keeping you more alert throughout the day. It also stimulates chemicals in your body to keep you awake. Instead of drinking a cup of coffee, try going for a 20-30 min morning or lunchtime run to wake you up.
3. Improved mood
Besides giving you more confidence in the way you look, the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion found that exercising 30-60 mins per day three times per week increases endorphins (Dopamine and Serotonin) in the body which helps make you feel happier. This can help reduce anxiety and depression.
4. Better sleep
There is nothing better than a good night’s sleep after a hard run. Research shows that people who perform 150 mins of exercise per week get a more restful night’s sleep. Rest is an extremely important, and often overlooked, component of a well-balanced exercise program. Eight hours of sleep will improve your metabolism and help your body recover from your training program so that you are refreshed and ready for your next run.
5. Progress to a more advanced exercise routine
If running a marathon seems like a daunting task, starting an easy running program of one to two miles a few times per week can help give you the confidence to increase your running frequency, speed and overall time running. Before you know it, that marathon that seemed impossible may just sound like your next bucket list item to tackle!
If you’re interested in easing into a new running program, the Foothills Running Group may be the place for you. Join us on Saturday, August 25th at 7 am at FAST Ahwatukee for an informational meeting and fun run. Learn more here.