Running for your Heart
Most people cringe at the idea of going for a run. From changing into your clothes, having time to shower off the sweat afterwards, finding the right running shoes, knowing which socks to wear when, and knowing what to eat before and after a run makes it seem like a full time job. I understand completely. Not many people think about running a half marathon with excitement. But, not many people try it either.
We know running is healthy for you, as is any exercise. But why is it so good for your heart? There are two very important reasons:
The Journal of American College of Cardiology conducted a study which provided evidence that running can “reduce all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risk.” The subjects of the study were, on average, forty-four years old. The amount of exercise recommended is at minimum, seventy-five hours per one week. However, the results of this study led to different conclusions. The JACC concluded that mortality benefits were prominent even with a minimum of thirty minutes running a week for all-cause mortality risks. Specifically regarding cardiovascular mortality risks, the recommended minimum of running was fifty-nine minutes per week. Running enables our heart muscle to grow stronger and with every beat, pump more blood throughout our body.
Not only does running strengthen your heart and prevent mortality risks, it also heals it. Whether you lost your job and are financially unstable, just went through a break up, or lost someone close to you, running can help. The last thing you might want to do is get out of bed and use your body. However, running releases endorphins which interact with specific receptors of your brain and help reduce the feeling of pain. The method is similar to how morphine works. Although you may not be in physical pain and what you feel is on an emotional level, the same happy feeling still occurs. A study done with male runners showed that running helps improve brain connectivity. Brain connectivity is what is responsible for decision making and is often compromised when we are upset.
Whether you want to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality or you’re going through something else, running is the answer. It can be as little as ten minutes a day and three days a week and you’ll notice differences in yourself.
Posted by Anna Potorski