7 Reasons to Start Running

Many people think about becoming runners, but have not started to run. If you fall into this category, here are seven reasons that you should start today.

1. Physical Health

It has been shown that running helps just about every aspect of your health. From cardiovascular to bone density, if you want to live longer, running is one way to help achieve that goal.

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2. Mental Health

The "Runner's High" is not a myth. It's well documented that while running the brain releases chemicals called endorphins which can improve mood, outlook and your overall happiness. Whether a runner experiences the high during or after a run, the effects can last for hours or days. Runners report that they sometimes run just to feel that high and if they stop running for an extended period they miss it.

3. Stress Relief

Another mental health benefit that running offers is pure and simple--stress relief. You probably experience various degrees of stress in your life. Some level of stress is good for you because it keeps you focused and moving forward. But too high of a stress level can have serious health implications. The good news is that running is one of the best outlets for stress relief. The simple act of going for a regular run can put everything into perspective and help you live a low stress life.

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4. Social Ties

Running is a great social event. Anyone can lace up a pair of sneakers and hit the road. Talking to running buddies during your runs can be deeply satisfying. Research shows that making strong friendships can help you live a longer and happier life. You'll be surprised at how large and inclusive the running community can be. Find some local running buddies or join a running club--you will never regret it.

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5. Work Toward a Goal

Everyone needs a purpose or goal in life. Unfortunately, as you move from school to adulthood you lose sight of this fact and begin living life one day at a time with nothing to strive for. Running can give you purpose. Sign up for a 5K and watch how your mood improves as you work toward and reach your goal.

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