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99 Ways Running Can Help You Live a Better Life

benefits of runningThis is a guest post by Stephanie, for the 100 day Marathon Blog. Enjoy !

Still haven’t convinced yourself to keep running?

Then here are the many different ways running improves the quality of your life. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll have enough motivation to put on your running shoes!

Share this article, if you agree!

1. Look great. When you run, you lose weight and develop a firm physique. Why spend hundreds of dollars on weight loss programs and diets when you can get better results at no extra cost?

2. Feel like a superhuman. You don’t need to have superpowers to feel strong and powerful.

3. Live longer. A team at the Stanford University School of Medicine did a comparative study from 1984 until 2005 between 538 runners and 423 non-healthy runners, all over the age of 50. It was found that by the end of the 20-year study, 85% of the runners were still alive as compared to the 66% from the non-runner category.

4. Feel alive. Running works out every muscle of your body. No amount of red bull can wake you up as much as running.

5. Build physical strength. Running helps make your lower body, ligaments, and muscles stronger which prevents bone and muscle injury.

6. Outrun the bad guys. Whether it’s a stalker, a robber, or a zombie, running 30 miles a week will certainly pay off.

7. Make new friends. Join a running group, sign up for running events and pretty soon, you’ll meet new and interesting people. Definitely beats meeting duds at the bar, huh?

8. See the world. Running gives you a reason to travel around the world. After all, almost every city in every country has a marathon event you can join!

9. Eat more. You know how you want to eat your favorite foods but you just can’t because you’re trying to watch your calories? With running, you won’t be as conscious about what you eat, and you CAN eat in bigger portions.

10. Get sick less. When you’re spending 10 hours at work, 2 hours stuck in traffic and then waste another 5 hours in front of your TV, you’re highly likely to get sick often. Having an active lifestyle on the other hand, lowers your risk of cancer and other diseases.

11. Save more. The interesting thing about running is that it makes your life, well, interesting. So you don’t have to splurge on entertainment, shopping and therapy just to make yourself happy.

12. Look good without makeup. Who needs foundation when you can get a natural glow post-workout?

13. Be happier. A lot of runners know that running is a happy pill. Don’t believe me? Run for 30 minutes and see the result for yourself.

14. Build self-confidence. When you look good and feel great about yourself, becoming more confident is a given.

15. Improve balance. OK so yoga is great for improving balance but do you really want to do all those crazy poses when you can just run outdoors, like right now?

16. Spend time with your dog. Dogs need exercise just like us. What better way to spend quality time with your pet than by spending an afternoon running in the park?

17. Be stress-free. Running regularly helps you manage stress better because it boosts serotonin levels in the brain which in turn makes it sort of stress-proof.

18. Stronger heart. Running is an aerobic exercise so it’s good for your cardiovascular system. In fact, experts believe that running for just an hour each week lowers your risk to heart disease by at least 50%.

19. Increase stamina. Does climbing 2 flights of stairs leave you breathless? The more (and longer) you run, the better your stamina.

20. Fit in your old clothes. Some of my friends complain that they no longer fit in the clothes they bought two years ago. I always tell them, instead of spending your energy complaining about it, why not go out and run? Not only does it make you feel better after, it also helps you lose weight and pretty soon you’ll fit in your old clothes again. How cool is that?

21. One with nature. Sure you know how calming it can be to be surrounded by nature. But why spend weeks planning a camping trip when you can be one with nature now?

22. Something to look forward to. Life can get dull sometimes. If there’s no excitement in your life right now, you can change all that by joining running events like a 10K fun run. Need more challenge? Join a marathon and aim for a PR. Heck, aim to qualify for the Boston Marathon!

23. Help others. There are many ways you can help others through running. You can join charity runs, breast cancer awareness runs, etc. Not only will you be helping yourself, you are also making a contribution to society.

24. Help a friend. Invite a non-runner friend to run with you on a regular basis and you’d be surprised at how much you’ll make that person’s life better.

25. Strengthen your marriage. It’s been said that marriages last longer if you’re able to do things together and have some things in common. Sure, going out to dinner in a fancy restaurant and watching movies are nice and romantic. But I bet you won’t have to spend as much by running together. Not only that, you’re likely to live longer together too!

26. Bond with your kids. What’s that they say about families that run together? Not only do they stay together but they’re all fit and healthy too.

27. Listen to some really cool songs. Now you have an excuse to listen to Miley’s latest soundtrack.

28. Listen to audio books. You can learn so much from audiobooks. Unfortunately, we never seem to have the time for them. So why not hit two birds with one stone by listening to some audio books during your long runs?

29. Inspire others. Over the years, quite a few people have approached me and said that the reason why they took up running was because others inspired them to do so. You too can inspire others.

30. Positive addiction. People develop certain addictions but if you’re going to be addicted to something, it might as well be running.

31. Show off to those show offs. Now you can finally flaunt your amazing bod and latest PR to those gym rats. Ha!

30. You get bragging rights. For the record, bragging about your skills and talents isn’t exactly a bad thing. Hey, you worked hard for it, you deserve to show off a bit, ya know!

31. Excel at a sport. Running is a sport, and a very tough one at that. Not everyone can play football, basketball, baseball, or even golf. So, if you’re that kind of guy, at least there’s one sport you’re good at.

32. Fall inlove. If you can find love on Facebook, then you sure as hell can find it at the finish line!

33. Get over a breakup. So you broke up with the love of your life and now you’re feeling miserable. What better way to make yourself feel better than to go out and run? Believe me, you will feel a LOT better afterwards.

34. The “sexy” one. You know how it works. People gain weight as they grow older. Well, break the status quo. Everyone can be fat, but no sir, not you.

35. WOW others during class reunions. So what if you were ugly Betty back in high school? If you’re an active runner with a healthy lifestyle to boot, you’ll look fantastic that your old classmates might not even recognize you.

36. Excel in time management. Runners (the really determined ones) manage their time wisely. After all, they have to budget their time for family, work, themselves, and running.

37. Achieve more. You can’t argue with the fact that people who excel at running, as well as in other sports, are achievers. They’re very competitive. So it always follows that they are doing pretty good in other aspects such as in their career and marriage.

38. Hardly late. People usually run in the morning so they need to wake up early every time. Because of this “habit” you’ll be hard-pressed to find a runner who arrives late for work.

39.  Stay focused. When you’re bored at work, you lose focus and reduce your productivity. But when you engage in a healthy lifestyle, your mind works better.

40. Natural high. Running is enjoyable but you’re likely to appreciate it more after a good run. If you’re feeling sad or depressed, the only therapy you need is a long run. It induces the release of endorphins, or your “pleasure hormones.”

41. Freebies! Whether it’s a 5K fun run or an ultramarathon, such events often include giving of freebies like a cap, rubber bracelet, water bottle, etc.

42. Plenty of “breathable” shirts. You get a singlet for every running event you participate in. If you join once a month, that’s already 12 singlets (running shirts) in a year. If you’ve been running for 5 years…do the math.

43. Be on the 6 o’clock news. You want your 5 minutes of fame? Win a local marathon. But if that’s not possible, just wear something funny, unique, and totally outlandish during the next run. If it’s a big event, you’ll be sure to attract the local media.

44. Rub elbows with top runners. Runners are very passionate about their sport and they won’t hesitate helping out newbies. Join trainings and conferences, and you’ll be sure to get plenty of advice and tips from world-class runners.

45. Strong immune system. Studies have shown that people who are active have stronger immune systems compared to those who are sedentary. If you’re always catching a cold, then it’s probably time to start running.

46. Better sleep. Experts recommend taking morning runs if you want a good night’s sleep.

47. Great mornings. In relation to what was said above, if you’re able to get sufficient amounts of sleep at night, you always feel refreshed in the morning.

48. Better circulation. When you get your heart pumping, it improves circulation in the body.

49. Clear skin. Running flushes out toxins from the body especially the ones that are trapped under your skin. This in turn makes your skin glow and clear-looking.

50. Slow down the aging process. If you’re looking for the fountain of youth, you’re not going to find it. However, if you want to slow down the process of aging, running can definitely help.

51. Climb mountains. See, the thing with running is that it enables you to do a whole lot of other fun activities because it makes you stronger and improves your stamina. If you’ve never had the stamina to go mountain climbing before, you’re likely to be able to do it now.

52. Improve your swim. Of course, just because you can run doesn’t mean you can already do 20 laps in a 50m pool without practicing. However, it is possible that you’ll have better endurance in swimming if you’ve been increasing your mileage on a regular basis.

53. Prevent vision problems. Those who run at least 30 miles a week are less likely to suffer from age-related vision problems than those who hardly engage in any physical activity.

54. Increase bone density. Researchers from the University of Missouri have found that running actually makes the bones stronger.

55. Avoid high blood pressure meds. Runners who log at least 10 miles weekly are 39% less likely to take medication for blood pressure compared to those who rarely run or don’t run at all.

56. Avoid erectile dysfunction. Not even the best erectile dysfunction drugs in the world can hold a candle to running. A man who runs 5 hours a week has 83% less chance of suffering from ED.

57. Increased libido. Now for the ladies, running actually boosts your libido and a poll from Runners World showed that 83% of the women who participated felt that running did make improvement in their sex life.

58. Improved sex life. No erectile dysfunction, increased libido…need we say more?

59. Spend less on gas. No need to drive a car to work, to the gym, or even to your friend’s house. Run to get from point A to point B and save at least a hundred dollars per month on gas.

60. More alert. Running keeps your mind in tiptop shape so you get to avoid sleepiness throughout the day.

61. More agile. Agility gets lost when people hardly move about, eat carelessly, and spend most of their time either stuck at their desk or on their couch. When you run on a regular basis, you’ll find it easier to be up and about.

62. Climb stairs effortlessly. So the office elevator isn’t working. No problem. Runners never have problems getting several flights of stairs, a testament to their excellent health and stamina.

63. Live more. Unhealthy people are always sick, tired, fatigued, and depressed. But when you live a healthy and active lifestyle, you find more reasons to laugh, to have fun, and simply to enjoy life.

64. Feel free. Science can’t explain it but runners know that wonderful, indescribable feeling all too well.

65. Make the most of your summer. Great weather outside’s calling you. What better way to make the most of it than to run?

66. Never run out of conversations. You know what runners talk about most of the time? Running. And they never run out of things to say about this subject too.

67. Eat burgers and fries all you want. Counting calories can be such a bore. Even worse is watching someone next to you eating a double cheeseburger and you can’t because you’re trying to lose weight.

68. Workout anytime, anywhere. The great thing about running is that the only things you’ll ever need are: comfortable clothes, running shoes, and water. That’s it. No heavy exercise equipment. No expensive gym memberships. You can run around your office for all you care!

69. Never too late to achieve something big. The average age of a marathoner is 40 but even if you’re already in your 60s and 70s, you can still finish a marathon. Just ask Fauja Singh who finished his first marathon when he was 89.

70. Never too fat to run. Just ask Toronto mayor Rob Ford who weighed 330lbs when he first hit the tracks.

71. No fad diets. Trying to lose weight isn’t easy. It’s tough and it’s very frustrating. But if you want to safely and consistently lose weight, running is the best way to do it.

72. Burn off steam. Whatever you’re upset about, no need to cause a scene. No need to start a fight. Just run!

73. Increase creativity. When you’re running, your mind is freed from all the stresses of daily life. You get plenty of time to think and have some “alone time” which boosts your creativity.

74. More competitive. Your desire to improve your PR and win races will always affect other areas of your life, making you more competitive especially career-wise.

75. Drink beer. Beer contains carbohydrates, right?

76. Read great books. There are lots of fantastic books that are related to running and you’ll learn so much from them.

77. Wear cool footwear. Now you’ll have a good reason to wear that Vibram barefoot shoes that everyone’s been talking about.

78. Have reason to run barefoot. People won’t think you’re crazy running on the road without any shoes on. Blame it on Born to Run.

79. Time off from the wife (or husband). Sometimes, you just really need to. So now you’ve got an excuse.

80. Get to know your neighbors. You never know the nice people you’re likely to meet when you take the time to explore your neighborhood.

81. Spend quality time with your old folks.  Nope you don’t need to play bingo or card games.

82. Feel empowered. That exhilarating feeling when you reach the finish line.

83. Sense of accomplishment. At the end of the day, this activity always makes you feel like you’ve done something good for yourself.

84. Wear anything you like. You can finally buy that tight little black dress you’ve been eyeing since Thanksgiving.

85.Shirtless at the beach. You’ll feel confident too!

86. Set a good example to your family. Instill in your children the importance of an active lifestyle. They’ll thank you for it.

87. Become more organized. Discipline, self control, time management are key ingredients to become a good runner. These traits also make you become more organized at work and at home.

88. Enjoy weekends. Instead of being a potato couch all Saturday, why not start your weekend with a refreshing run?

89. Appreciate nature. Sometimes you get so caught up in your day to day activities that you hardly ever notice the beauty around you.

90. Sweat it out. Why spend $40 for a sauna room when you can get a good sweat free of charge?

91. Enjoy desserts. And it’s not even your cheat day.

92. Free vitamin D. Sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D, just don’t get exposed for too long though.

93. Natural butt lift. Running tones the buttocks because your pelvis contracts with each step. This is especially true if you always go for a hill run.

94. Detoxify. Sweating is a natural way of detoxifying your body. Coupled with improved metabolism and blood circulation, it will be a lot easier for your body to cleanse itself.

95. Increase sex appeal. You know who’s sexier than Angelina Jolie? A woman in running shorts sweating all over.

96. Make loved ones proud. All those cheers and happy faces at the finish line makes you forget you just ran 26 miles.

97. Age gracefully. To hell with plastic surgery.

98. Reward yourself. An NY Strip at Morton’s or a day at the spa? You deserve it!

99. Look good naked. Ah, the best reward of all.

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Comments

  1. marko.vanttinen@suomi24.fi'Marko says

    Drink beer! That´s was a good one. I usually consume Guinness and it tastes so good, scecially after training, but I only do that in weekends.

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