The effects of running on the body are often helpful and positive. People use running as a way to lose weight, get in shape, and increase their cardiovascular endurance. In addition, running can also help to maintain bone density throughout one's life, because it is a high-impact, weight-bearing exercise that encourages bone growth. These are just a few of the many beneficial effects of running.
Running is an aerobic activity that increases the heart rate. This means that it strengthens the heart and lungs, increasing endurance and lung capacity over time, which can reduce the risk of heart disease. Running may also lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, both of which are very beneficial to one's overall health. In addition, another one of the main effects of running is its effect on the heart rate.
Running helps one to have a lower resting heart rate, and to return to that resting heart rate more quickly after exercise. This means that the heart is stronger and more efficient; it is much better to have a slower heart rate while at rest than a fast heart rate. In addition to its cardiovascular benefits, running engages muscles throughout the entire body, but particularly the legs and abdominal muscles. This can increase muscular strength, and improve coordination and posture.
Another one of the effects of running is weight loss. Running burns calories; the specific amount depends on one's height, weight, and age, but it is always a great way to burn off calories, especially when combined with a healthy diet. Pumping the arms while running helps to engage the muscles of the arms, shoulders, and back, which can help to increase strength as well as to burn additional calories.
The effects of running can be mental as well. People who get regular exercise often sleep better and have more energy, as well as less anxiety or incidences of depression because aerobic exercise encourages the brain to produce endorphins, which improve the mood. Of course, some negative effects of running are possible; these can include injuries such as shin splints or muscle pulls, as well as pain in the feet or knees. Many of these negative effects can be prevented by starting slowly, warming up first with some brisk walking, and stretching thoroughly after each run to prevent the muscles from becoming tight. Still, those with weak or sensitive joints may find that it is not the best form of exercise for them.