The Physical Benefits of Running (PURE 3600 Blog Entry 3)
Last blog entry, I went into the benefits of how running is good for your mental health. In this entry, I am going to get into the subtle details and benefits of what running did for me as a cross country & track athlete in high school.
- I HAD MORE ENERGY.
The first couple weeks of practice were gruesome for me. Although I was pretty good with my physical condition, with the amount of basketball I played all summer going into freshman year, my endurance capabilities were not up to par with what I was going for when practice started in mid-August. The first few practices were of easy to medium difficulty. As the season progressed, the workouts would get harder and when postseason would start in mid-October, the workouts would decrease in difficulty to preserve the stamina and energy for the more important races. I would honestly say within only 3 weeks of training I had naturally gained more energy as a whole throughout the day while needing less hours of sleep at night.
2. LEANER MUSCLE TONE & DEFINITION
Although many anti-runners will say you lose muscle while running, they are correct in that sense; however, I had a small build and when I lost weight from burning many calories my small muscles, chest, and especially my 6-pack had definition and were extremely toned out. This was because I had almost no fat on my body whatsoever. I felt really light on my feet and energetic, because I was just a small kid who could muster the energy to run 6 miles a day without trying. My 6-pack may not be as toned as it once was, but at the time I probably was in the best toned shape of my life.
3. THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS
The cardiovascular benefit is a combination with gaining more energy. When I went to the doctor’s to do a physical in high school at the prime of my career, they noticed my heart rate was about 64–68 beats per minute. When I was in 7th grade, I did a science experiment analyzing my whole family’s resting heart rates based on age and gender to determine how much of a factor those stats were in relation to heart health. Heart rate results were all over the place, but my heart rate was between 74–78 beats per minute when I was younger. As a runner, I concluded that my heart was not working as hard at a resting rate because it was accustomed to the high endurance & intense running workouts I would do on a religious basis.
Conclusion: At the end of the day, running has a lot more physical benefits, but these were the ones I noticed the most within myself. Here are a few articles on other benefits.