Benefits of Running

There are many benefits of running. I love going for a run short or long. However if you need more reasons than that I’ve put together some more reasons to strap on the running shoes and get out the door. These are backed up with figures and studies. Read on to discover the benifits of running.

Burning Calories

Running at a moderate pace on average you’ll burn 100 calories per mile. Put it another way, the average person will burn approximately 600 calories an hour running at 5mph. And another way to look at it, a runner will burn 12 calories per minute running at ten minute mile pace. It may be common sense but its worth repeating: Running a few miles a few times per week can help you lose or maintain your weight.  

Healthy Choices

After running for a short period of time, weeks or months. Many people find they start making healthier lifestyle choices. This may be a subconscious effect but I suspect it’s the desire to improve that comes to the fore.

Feel Happy

Running makes you feel good, its as simple as that. There have been many studies into exactly what hormones cause this. But the simple fact is it makes you feel better. Even lifting your pace to a fast walk can have positive effects. Once out the door it can help reduce the effects of stress, depression and anxiety. 2 rewarding chemicals are released when you run, endocannabinoids and endorphins.

Forest Run
Forest Run

Strengthen Joints and Bones

Running for some years increases bone mass and density. It’s a well known fact that as we age bone mass goes down, running can counter that. Running also strengthens the ligaments and tendons around the joints. It also helps muscles find balance. This reduces the effect of tight muscles that can working in opposition. This can take some of the preusre off joints. It may seem counterintuitive but the impact on bones and joints while running means they recover stronger in the same way as muscles.

Sharper Mind As You Age

Its accepted that exercise in general slows the effect of aging on cognitive ability. One more benefit to strapping on the trainers. Studies have shown runners of a certain age are better able to plan and execute tasks than none runners.

Reduces Risk of Cancer

Studies have shown that running reduces the risk of a large number of cancers.

Adds Time To You Life

It has been shown that by running for a few minutes everyday you can add years to your life. Approximately three years in fact.

Sleep Better

Running tires you out so you sleep better. This is especially true in the young.

Good for Your Heart

It is accepted that running improves cardiovascular health. The more you run the healthier your heart will be. Someone who runs 40 miles per week will have a healthier heart than someone who runs 10 miles per week.

Runners are 50% less likely to die from heart disease than non-runners. Key factors like blood pressure and cholesterol are improved by running.

Slows Cognitive Decline As You Age

Older runners see improvements in short term memory, their ability to focus and multitasking.

Flattens Stress Response

It has been proven that running helps maintain chemical balance in the brain. Including the chemicals responsible for stress.

TCS New York City Marathon 2019
New York Marathon 2019

Reduced Risk Of Death

Running for 30 minutes to an hour a day makes you less likely to die. From any cause when compared to a person who does not run on a regular basis.

Great Leg Workout

The act of running uses all the muscles in your legs. Some are used more than others. All will get a great workout when you go for a run.

Surprisingly Effective Core Exercise

All movement starts from the core and running is no different. A strong core is essential to running. Elite marathon runners have hardcore core workouts to give them an edge. Take a look at the lengths Eliud Kipchoge goes takes to workout his core this video.

No Gym Required

Away on a business trip, pack the running shoes. Everyone has 15 minutes where they can squeeze in a run. No need to drive to the gym, just strap on and get out the door.

The Running Community

Anyone whos toed the line of a race will know what a positive life affirming experience it is. Everyone is in great spirits, smiling and looking forward to the challenge ahead. Being around those people one cant help but be affected by the positive nature of those around you.

In the UK and around the world parkrun is the exemplar for this. Every Saturday morning over 3 million people take part in timed event in towns and cities everywhere. Running a 5k every Saturday is a great way to start the weekend.

Meditative Effect

I’ve experienced running a marathon and having what felt like an out of body moment. I experienced this meitative effect around the 13 mile point as I did a ‘systems check’ to see how I was feeling. It was like I was observing myself from above. I was able to adjust certain things all without consciously feeling the act of running. That was a one off that I would love to experience again one day.

Better Brain

Studies have shown that there is a direct link between running and improvements in memory and cognitive ability.  A study carried out by Dr Paul Loprinzi of the University of Mississippi demonstrated that exercising for 15 minutes increases both short and long term memory. While the jury is out on the effect of high intensity training, aerobic training has been shown to reap rewards in this department.


I’ve touched on a few of my favourite reasons to go for a run here. There are many more backed by in-depth medical research. I hope you feel inspired by at least one of the points I’ve raised. Inspired enough to get the trainers on and go for a run!



Slightly obsessed middle aged runner.