Run for Your Life: Why You Should Start Running Today
“Forrest Gump” is — and forever will be — a favorite film of mine.
A little random? Just bear with me.
The movie is such a classic for me because it has pretty much all of my movie necessities rolled into one beautiful, tear-inducing storyline: true romance, an inspirational story, and of course — running. In the film, Forrest runs straight across the country just for the sake of running. Now I realize following Forrest’s initiative isn’t exactly realistic, but imagine how healthy people would be if they just took the time to spend a little bit of quality time outside everyday pounding the pavement.
The benefits of running have been proven time and time again by countless health and fitness experts, who are coming out with more and more reasons to run everyday. For starters, it keeps the body’s most vital organ, the heart, working at optimum levels. The stronger your heart is, the better your blood circulation will be, which keeps everything else working as it should. According to a study conducted at Vanderbilt University, running helps lower blood pressure by maintaining the elasticity of the arteries. Most dedicated runners have low blood pressure, and rarely have to worry about heart disease and other cardiac issues.
Researchers have also proven that running prolongs ones life. According to the same study, runners typically burn around 100 calories every mile he or she runs, which helps to burn unwanted fat and develop lean tissue. Depending on the duration and intensity of the run, running five miles a day can burn an average of 500 calories. Keeping extra weight off helps the heart work much more efficiently, and, for that matter, much longer.
Arguably my most favorite health benefit of running isn’t the physical reward, however, it’s psychological. Running helps release endorphins (or ‘happiness hormones’) into the brain, which almost immediately boost one’s mood drastically. Running has been proven to significantly improve sleep, eating and relaxation habits. After a satisfying run, it’s hard to feel self-conscious or down on yourself when you know you just did your body and your mind a huge favor!
And so, as Jenny said, “Run Forrest, run!”