Running is by far one of the best exercises around. It is considered one of the best as it requires no training, hence it is easy; it needs no extra requirements – no courts or fields or equipment, it can be done anywhere and everywhere, at any time and is one of the most liberating and refreshing experiences ever.
Running is also an exhaustive workout. It mainly works your cardio-vascular system and your leg muscles, but a lot happens inside your body as you run – all leading to better health. Running increases your heart rate (the rate at which your heart beats), thus boosting your blood supply and with it the oxygen supply as well. Increasing the flow of blood brings about a tingling sensation in all your muscles as you feel them pulsating and throbbing harmoniously to keep your speed constant. This increase in oxygen immediately wakes up all the systems and nerves of the body and you are suddenly alert to your surroundings and senses are heightened. Blood also reaches the brain in larger amounts than usual. This is the reason that most individuals think running is the best start to their day.
The strenuous activity increases oxygen intake as well as more fuel needs to be burned and at a faster rate. Lungs expand and you will feel yourself panting within a minute or so of running. The more oxygen your lungs take in the stronger they get and the clearer your wind pipe becomes. In fact, the panting lasts even after you’ve stopped running, so your lungs are still pumping oxygen at high levels for a time. This helps you remain fresh long after you’ve finished jogging. The fact that running works your leg muscles does not need mentioning. Your leg muscles are stretched and relaxed with every step and with regular running you will notice more definition and sharper contours of muscles on your leg.
However, running can also be very injurious, especially if one is not careful. This is particularly so if you suffer from heart disease, joint pain or breathing trouble. Running taxes your heart and lungs considerably and those with the above problems need to consult their doctors first before beginning any running program. If you suffer from breathing trouble like asthma or bronchitis, it is best to run indoors on a treadmill where the air can be much cooler and cleaner than outside.
It is also very important to wear the right kind of shoes. Running impacts feet severely and they need proper cushioning in order to protect themselves. You will often notice that regular sport shoes or sneakers might feel tight while running or you might find your toe stubbing against the front of your shoe quiet often. This happens due to something called ‘pronation’ which your feet do when your run. While running, the feet tend to move backwards in the shoe itself. A shoe that is too loose or too tight will thus not offer proper support. Branded sports shoes may be expensive, but they are worth the protection they provide.
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