Within the industry there has been many vocal influencers speaking both positively and negatively about the benefits of running. We get it, there is always going to be an opinion, whether it may be right or wrong. But with run season well and truly here, we thought we would do some investigating to uncover some truths around the benefits of running. But never fear girl, we’ve got your back!
THE BIGGY = WEIGHT LOSS
Hands down, running is still the best exercise to lose weight period! How so? Because the duration of time we can put into a run workout. Many publications and articles out there praise activities like boxing, rowing and even swimming as better weight loss alternatives. The reality is they are under the assumption we can do these activities for hours never mind just the one! There was a really good article published on the calories burnt for each activity. The 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities has a great analysis of calories burnt while running. Here was our most interesting takes from the data^:
(if 200LBS) / Per Hour
|Running – Walking/Jogging||6.0||545|
|Running – 6mph (10 min/mile)||9.8||891|
|Running – Uphill or Stairs||15.0||1364|
|Boxing – Sparring||7.8||709|
|Rowing – General Leisurely||3.5||318|
|Swimming – General Leisurely||6.0||545|
|Yoga – General Leisurely||2.5||227|
|Pilates – General Leisurely||3.0||273|
Wait! What the does MET standard for, I hear you scream? The MET actually stands for Metabolic Equivalent of Task which basically is a number you use to see how many calories you burn during running or how many you burn during any activity. The link is above, but we also like this site.
Let’s say we weigh 100 pounds and I run roughly 10 min miles. My MET is 9.8. I need to first convert my 100 lbs into kg which is 100 divided by 2.2 = 45.5kg. I would then multiply my 45.5kg by 9.8 MET = 445.9 Calories burnt per hour running session (you see, that’s why it’s better for us to work it out).
Oh and in case you missed it – running up hill will give you three times the workout than a leisurely run around the park. So, scout out your local area and find a hill or set of stairs, and embrace the incline!!
THE AFTERBURN (also known as EPOC)
EPOC stands for Excessive Post Exercise Consumption. I’m not going to bore you with the scientifics but it’s great to know once you’ve finished your run (or workout), and all that breathing you’re doing (when you generally just think it’s because you’re unfit), well it’s actually your body working out and burning more calories. #winner
How do I get the afterburn?
Good workouts! No seriously, to get the afterburn you need the intensity of your runs/workouts to get your body producing 70% of your breathing VO2 Max. A good piece explaining VO2 Max is here on Running for Fitness. I guess what you need to take from your workouts and especially running is when you’re finishing up your session, if you’re not breathing harder than usual you’re not maximising the afterburn.
GOOD ACTIVEWEAR & RUNNING MAKE YOU HAPPIER
We will be the first to admit it: great looking activewear will motivate you to run. Plain and simple. At Active in Style, we aim to deliver the very best in the world’s best activewear. For this, we heavily research the styles we invest in, try and test them, and most importantly, make sure they look great and feel even better on. The point I’m getting at is, an investment in good running apparel may not necessarily be your first priority, but we can guarantee that when wearing high quality, beautiful and inspiring styles as you go stride for stride, your performances will improve.
This too goes hand in hand with our next point. Happiness.
Over the past decade a lot of work has been invested into Sport Sciences and the effects exercising has on us mentally. One of the leading academically commissioned journals, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, has had loads of respected contributors sharing such insights on such topics. One of the takings from the studies is the positive impact exercise has on our mental health, and in particular, running.
The most common feeling we get from a good run/workout is the release of endorphins, which is a bunch of hormones released into our system that give off all sorts of feel-good, positive vibes. If that’s not a reason to lace up your sneakers, then we don’t know what is?
RUNNING IS A GREAT WAY TO MAKE FRIENDS
With run season in full swing, you will find free, local running clubs everywhere. We host our very own run club on the weekends from the Active in Style Concept Store in Chelsea, London. Follow us on Instagram for all the details. #RUNChelsea.
Outside of London, you will find many other free runs in your area. The beauty about these is you get to mix with people who share a common interest, and usually the run sees some great benefits with a pre and post warm up/cool down. The best place to find one near you is via these sites: eventbright.com, runnersworld.co.uk, therunningbug.co.uk, and towntalk are all great sources.
RUNNING IS GREAT FOR OUR BODY… BUT HOW?
Until this point we’ve been very good at skipping over the main reason why anyone usually decides to start running. Overall physical health. First of all, one of the big ones… exercise in general, but running in particular, reduces the risk of cancer!
Running also reduces your blood pressure and increases lung capacity. Due to the intensity of running, the blood flow around the body increases substantially, causing our arteries to expand thus reducing our average blood pressure. The long distances can really help the increase our lung capacity. The increased levels of breathing causes new alveoli to form in our lungs allowing us to larger breath capacities (thank you GCSE biology).
Running also evidently tightens and builds our lower body muscles. Helping our everyday lives and preparing us for more challenging activities on the road ahead. There’s also a lot of debate around running in regards to our knees and joints. You usually find younger runners have these symptoms largely down to overworking and abusing their legs. It’s very important to understand your body; warm up, cool day, stretching and rest are as important as the actual running you do. Senior runners tend to take it more steady, and as result get a lot more out of their running.
In conclusion, running helps you live longer! No matter what your vices in life may be, if you meet the minimum amount of suggested exercise – 30 minutes, 5 times per week – you are going to be around a lot longer. And there are some incredible stories a search away from smokers, ex-smokers, cancer survivors, heart attack survivors etc.. extending their lives just by hitting the streets and running their hearts out.
Quick fire reasons we love running
- You can run anyplace, anytime, anywhere
- You get to see the world (well kind of, like a 10 mile radius of your area)
- Practically free! No need for gym membership, just some really good looking activewear
- Relieves stress levels like nobody’s business
- Improves your sexual health
- Strengthens your immune system
- Fresh air (best perk if you are cooped up inside at a desk all day)
- Technology in designs and fit for Running Clothes is a lot more advanced than other activities
Now you understand the benefits of running, do you think you will be more inclined to lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement?
There is no better time like the present to Run Forest Run
Let us know if we’ve missed something? We are open to feedback! And if you loved this, be sure to share it with your fit friends.
^Publication authorised by B Ainsworth, A Leon, N Meckes, C Tudor-Locke, J Greener, W Haskell,J Vezina, S Hermann and MC Whitt-Glover (quite a few names there).