Running: Rewards and Risks

Running is one the most popular forms of aerobic and cardiovascular exercise because of its convenience and accessibility. People of all ages turn to running as their chosen type of workout not only because of its availability but also because of the many benefits running provides.

Regular running can strengthen the heart and lungs. It gets the blood pumping and helps enhance lung function. According to research from Life Sciences Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, risks of getting heart disease can be reduced by running for even just an hour a week.

Another benefit of running is that it helps get rid of excess fats and helps you have a fitter figure as it helps in burning calories and losing weight.

Endorphins are also released during strenuous running. Running is proven to relieve stress and treat depression as well as other psychological disorders.

Running makes your makes your bones stronger. When you run, your body feels the stress from bending and carrying your body weight. Therefore, it reacts by increasing bone density to strengthen the bones to avoid injury.

Many benefits can be gained from running. However, as the saying goes, “Too much of something is bad”. Although there are many pros from running, there are also some cons from involving in this workout—especially when you take it too far. Long-distance running or participating in marathons has its risks, too.

Exposure to injuries is one of the most common risks of running. Minor injuries and pains such as calluses, foot blisters and muscle cramps are just some of the cons of everyday running. In addition, foot injuries also commonly occur due to wearing improper footwear. Other injuries include ankle sprain, shin splints, and muscle tears.

Overuse muscle injuries also root from running too much. Muscle soreness and inflammation is usually one of the results of excessive running. This condition can lead to serious muscle damage if ignored.

Risk of getting skin cancer due to prolonged exposure to the sun for a long time is also possible. Runners have a higher chance of getting Melanoma, one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer, because of UV exposure.

While it’s true that running can lower the risk of getting heart diseases, it may not be applicable to runners who have a family history of heart ailments. This is especially true for runners who push themselves too hard and do too much too soon. A research conducted in Copenhagen City Heart Study revealed that runners who jog slowly or on an average speed for an hour or two three days a week have a higher risk of surviving. However, runners who try to run more frequently or longer than two and a half hours have a higher risk of mortality.

There will always be pros and cons when engaging in vigorous physical workout like running. Nonetheless, running can still be good for the health if it is done with precaution and moderation. Set limits on what your body can handle.


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