Thursday, February 23, 2017

Running for Your Heart

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


  1. This is a topic that everyone knows but avoids I feel like. Cardiovascular training is so key to healthy overall as it not only trains your heart but other parts of your body. However, I did like learning about the other effects that running does but I am assuming that what you mean is cardio training in general has this effect and not solely running. Some examples may be people who swim, spin, or any other intensive cardio exercise. Overall, it's nice to see that there's more to running than gaining a healthy heart but also helping with brain connectivity!

    Posted by Andrew Do (Group A)

    1. Yes, of course any cardiovascular training can impact your heart for health reasons but as well as brain connectivity. The particular study I had reviewed dealt more closely with running. Part of why I think running was the key topic in relation to cardiovascular activity in regards to brain connectivity is because running in a outdoor setting involves the brain to do all the work while your body is moving. Running or cycling in a gym is very different. It would actually be very interesting which impacts brain connectivity more (gym or outdoor setting), or if their is no difference.

      Anna Potorski

  2. I feel like a lot of people know how good running is for your health but not many people do it as often as they should. I had heard that running can help reduce your risk of heart complications as well as anxiety and stress but I never knew how. I think its amazing that something so simple as running can release endorphins that can reduce the feeling of pain. Do other workouts have the same effect?

    Posted by: Katie Kossack (Group B)

    1. In general, any work out will release endorphins and create the sense of a release of pain. From personal experience, running is the most mindless and easiest. And, like the article I had read said, you can honestly do very little running and improve your health. I personally try to get in 2 miles a day because lets be real, not many college students have time for a 5 or 6 mile run on the daily! If you ever find yourself in a position of incredible stress, exercise such as running or yoga can be a great release and help you feel better mentally and physically!

      Anna Potorski

  3. Not only is running great for the heart but also great for the mind and spirit. Running for me personally is the biggest stress reliever, and the release of endorphin's are definitely a real thing. I wonder too if swimming has the same effects on the heart as running does?

    Posted by: Givenchy Humes (Group B)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I feel the same way about running! I myself have never been a swimmer so I can't say from personal experience. I bet there is a study out there though that has related swimming to brain connectivity, stress release, and improvement of the cardiovascular system itself.

      Anna Potorski

  4. I agree with Katie, I think that a lot of people know the benefits of running and how good it can be for you, but it's so hard to get yourself to actually do it. But I think if people were aware of the fact that it has benefits other than the obvious physical ones, they might be more inclined to go for a run! The point about endorphins was very interesting. I think it's something everyone knows but doesn't really think about, and it's good to remember because it can be good motivation to go for a run!

    Posted by: Haley Huang, Group A

  5. Running is a struggle for many people. But I think it would surprise them how little running or other cardiovascular exercise needs to be done to be a beneficial to ones health and life. The recommended amount of cardiovascular exercise is about 60 minutes a week or about 8 minutes a day. It only takes 8 minutes a day of cardiovascular activity to improve your life across many spectrum, that's not too bad at all. Once you get the hang of it 8 minutes a day will be a piece of cake. I personally love running and try to run as much as I can, it's a great stress relief!

    Posted by: Leah DeLorenzo

    1. Yes, that was one of the main topics of the article I had read. It actually takes much less time than what is recommended to improve our health. Everyone should try it in my opinion. And of course, for those who don't like running, other forms of exercise can help reduce stress, improve cardiovascular function, and health in general.

      Anna Potorski

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