pros and cons of running

Pros and Cons of Running

By the end of this article, you should have a good understanding of the pros and cons that come with running for exercise. We’ll break down the possible weight loss that comes with running and discuss various alternatives to running as well as the ideal running conditions.

Positive Effects

Exercise has continually been proven to be one of the most effective ways to live a healthy and long life. Of course, not all exercises are equal. Running comes with many positive opportunities including weight loss and improved mental health. It’s also been proven that running has a positive effect on the health of your heart and lungs. Not only does running increase your oxygen capacity, but also your body’s blood circulation. Running is also a surefire way to help you relax and decrease your stress levels. Another great reason to choose running for exercise is the cost. It doesn’t require an expensive gym membership – all you need are good running shoes and open space (typically soft, even ground is better for your body’s long-term health). If you’re looking for a good exercise to help you lose weight and burn calories, running may be a good option.

Negative Effects

As helpful as running might sound, it also comes with several negative effects that people should consider. Consult with your doctor before deciding to take up running as a daily exercise. Some of the negative effects associated with running include knee, shin and heel injuries as well as joint issues. It’s important for runners’ long term health that they use the proper running equipment (e.g., shoes and clothing) and the correct form to ensure minimal risk of injuries. It’s recommended that runners use a soft, even surface for low-impact running. 

Other things to consider

Ideal running conditions can vary depending on the runner, however, studies have shown that as the temperature outside rises, so does the need for increased oxygen. This leads to a slower pace for most runners. The body needs the extra oxygen to redirect blood flow in order to help cool down our bodies. Not only does higher temperatures lead to a need for more oxygen, it also increases the chances of dehydration. This means the ideal running temperature is between roughly 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Given some of the negative effects that are associated with running, let’s explore a few alternatives to consider that will help increase your cardiovascular health. Cycling, swimming, rowing and using ellipticals are all great exercises to substitute for running. If you find exercising boring, try doing something a little less conventional. Examples of these activities include hiking and kickboxing. You could also perform various exercises right at home such as jumping rope, and doing burpees, jumping jacks and mountain climbers. If you are unfamiliar with these exercises, talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional. 

Overall, there are many pros and cons to running and it’s important that you consult your primary care physician before taking up any exercise. If you do choose to start running, consider creating a walking routine first and slowly build up to running. Many injuries that come from running are a result of doing too much too soon, not taking the appropriate amount of rest time, and not properly stretching before and after running. When done right, running can have long-term benefits for your health and overall well being.


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