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What does running do to your body?

What does running do to your body?

Have you ever gone for a run and felt a burst of energy from head to toe? If you have, then you already know that running provides more than just cardiovascular benefits. 

In fact, running can have a tremendous impact on your overall physical and mental health, from boosting your immune system to reducing stress levels and helping you sleep better at night. 

But what exactly does running do to your body? Join me in exploring the many ways this simple yet powerful activity can benefit your health and well-being.

What does running do to your body

Definition of running

Running, as we know it, is essentially a form of aerobic exercise that involves the movement of our limbs for an extended period. 

  • It is a simple yet powerful activity that can bring about numerous health benefits to our bodies. 
  • This physical activity often involves the rhythmic movement of our legs, which propels the body forward with the help of our feet and ankles. 
  • Running is often done outdoors, such as on tracks, trails, or even on pavement. 
  • It is also a type of exercise that can be done by people of all ages, as long as they are in good health and capable of engaging in physical activity. 
  • As we continue to explore the world of running, we will discover that this simple exercise has a much deeper impact on our bodies than we realize. 

By delving into the importance of running and understanding its purpose, we can gain a better understanding of how it influences our bodies and helps us lead healthier 

Importance of running

Running is one of the most popular and effective forms of exercise that can help greatly improve your overall health and well-being. 

  1. It plays a vital role in improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of heart disease, and significantly lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 
  2. Moreover, it strengthens your muscles and bones, improves your stamina and endurance, and promotes better mental health and emotional well-being. 
  3. Running is also a great way to lose weight, tone up, and stay in shape, and it can help keep several chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer, at bay. 
  4. Additionally, running offers a great opportunity to spend time outdoors, breathe in fresh air, and connect with nature. 
  5. It can also boost your self-confidence, help you achieve your personal goals, and improve your performance in other areas of your life. 

In short, running is not just a physical exercise but a way of life that offers a myriad of benefits for your body, mind, and soul. 

Purpose of the blog

The purpose of this blog is to shed light on the benefits of running and what it can do to your body on a physiological level. 

  • We aim to provide factual data about the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and how running can improve them. 
  • Our goal is to inspire and motivate our readers to start or continue running as part of a regular exercise routine. 
  • Running is an inexpensive and accessible form of exercise that can help prevent diseases such as cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers. 
  • We also want to address common concerns about running such as the impact on joints and injuries. 
  • This blog seeks to encourage safe and healthy running habits. 

Overall, our purpose is to provide evidence-based information on the positive effects of running on your body and hopefully inspire readers to incorporate running into their daily lives. 

Cardiovascular system

  1. Running is a fantastic exercise for conditioning the cardiovascular system. 
  2. It is highly aerobic and utilizes both fatty acids and carbohydrates for energy. 
  3. Studies have shown that running regularly can significantly impact cardiovascular health. 
  4. It can lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and improve circulation. 
  5. In fact, distance runners tend to have larger, thicker left ventricles in their hearts, which allows for more efficient pumping of blood. 
  6. While runners are not immune to organic heart disease, physical examination and testing can screen for cardiomyopathy and coronary atherosclerotic heart disease. 
  7. Additionally, regular endurance exercise has shown positive effects on coronary risk factors, which may contribute to lower rates of coronary death. 
  8. It's important to note that ultramarathons and other extremely long-distance events can have negative impacts on some people's hearts and may cause damage or rhythm problems. 
  9. Overall, running is a heart-healthy activity that can have numerous benefits for the cardiovascular system. 

Increased heart rate

  • When we run, our heart rate naturally increases. 
  • This is because our muscles need more oxygen to produce energy, and the heart needs to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to supply them. 
  • Regular runners tend to have lower heart rates, even during physical activity, because their cardiovascular system adapts to the demands of running. 
  • However, sometimes our heart rate may go up a lot, even during an easy run, and this could be due to several reasons. 
  • For example, running on hazy and hot days can increase the heart rate, as the body tries to cool itself down. 
  • Cardiac drift, the natural increase in heart rate during a run with no increase in pace, can also occur. 
  • Not getting enough sleep or poor recovery from the previous workout can also cause an increased heart rate. 

While a high heart rate during easy runs is considered normal, it's important to pay attention to any other symptoms that may indicate a more serious issue. 

Improved circulation

Improved circulation is one of the significant benefits of running regularly. 

When you run, your heart rate and body temperature increase, allowing for increased blood flow throughout the body. 

This helps clear bacteria from your system and delivers oxygen-rich blood to your brain and other tissues. 

Running is a great way to improve circulation, and it can also help reduce the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke. 

In addition, maintaining a healthy weight can also improve circulation, as carrying excess body weight can negatively affect it. 

Regular cardiovascular exercise, such as jogging, is excellent for improving the health of the circulatory system. 

It improves the body's ability to take in and use oxygen, as well as the capacity of blood vessels to dilate, helping them work more efficiently. 

Lastly, there are additional lifestyle changes one can make to improve circulation that includes eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking. 

All these factors combined will help ensure a healthier heart and efficiently functioning circulatory system. 

Lower blood pressure

  • Running is one of the best exercises you can do to naturally lower your blood pressure. 
  • By engaging in regular cardio exercise, you can increase the amount of oxygen in your body, which can help to reduce stiffness in blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily. 
  • It's important to note that you need to commit to a regular running routine if you want to see results. 
  • It can take one to three months of regular exercise before you start to see a decrease in your blood pressure. 
  • While running is a great way to reduce your blood pressure, other types of exercise can also be effective. 
  • Anything that gets your heart rate going, such as cycling, swimming, or even walking, can be beneficial. 
  • It's important to talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program, especially if you have high blood pressure. 
  • Your doctor can help you determine the best course of action and advise you on what types of exercise to do. 

Remember, by staying physically active and making healthy lifestyle choices, you can improve your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure. 

Respiratory system

  1. Running is not only beneficial for the cardiovascular system but also for the respiratory system. 
  2. When we run, our breathing rate intensifies, allowing us to inhale more oxygen and exhale more carbon dioxide. 
  3. This increased rate helps our bodies meet the demands of our exercise, making our lungs and heart stronger. 
  4. Additionally, running can help strengthen the diaphragm and breathing muscles. 
  5. These muscles are responsible for powering inhaling and exhaling, so strengthening them can improve lung capacity and make breathing more efficient. 
  6. It’s important to breathe properly during exercise to increase endurance, avoid cramps and improve posture. 
  7. Diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing, can be practiced while running to stabilize breathing and reduce the force of the impact caused by running

People with medical conditions like asthma, COPD, and lung fibrosis should always consult their doctor before starting any exercise program. 

By starting an exercise program slowly, warming up, and increasing intensity over time, running can become an excellent way to improve respiratory health and overall physical well-being. 

Improved lung capacity

Running is known to have multiple benefits on our body, from cardiovascular health to improved respiratory function, including increased lung capacity. 

When we run, our lungs learn how to deliver oxygen to our bloodstream more efficiently, making them better at transporting oxygenated blood to muscles. 

As we continue to run, we grow more capillaries and alveoli in our lungs, which helps to increase lung capacity. 

Experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week, such as walking or running at a pace of 4 to 6 km per hour. 

For those with a lung condition, walking fast enough to make them moderately breathless is recommended. 

Regular exercise can increase the strength and function of our muscles, making them more efficient, and also improves circulation and strengthens our heart. 

Improved lung capacity not only helps us while running but also in our daily life, especially for those who experience breathing difficulties. 

Taking care of our lungs by avoiding smoking and pollution, along with regular exercise, can help keep them healthy for a long time. 

More efficient breathing

Regular exercise, especially running, can improve the function of our respiratory system, particularly our breathing. 

Efficient breathing enhances our lung capacity, allowing us to take in more oxygen and remove carbon dioxide, which is vital to our overall health. 

One way to achieve this is through rhythmic breathing, a technique whereby we create a rhythm between our breathing and gait when running

This technique helps us maximize the amount of oxygen we inhale during high-intensity exercise, such as running. 

Belly breathing is also an effective way to increase our oxygen intake, particularly during exercises that require more effort. 

By inhaling deeply, we give our diaphragm and core muscles the stability they need to support high-performance exercise. 

Ultimately, efficient breathing can help reduce the stress that running imposes on our body, thus reducing our chances of injury and improving our overall performance. 

However, it’s important to check with a healthcare professional before starting an exercise program, especially if you have chronic conditions.