15 Convincing Reasons to Start Running Today

by Greatist
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15 Convincing Reasons to Start Running Today

What promises a healthier body, a sunnier outlook, and the perfect opportunity to catch up? This is no infomercial. Running is one of the best butt-kicking, calorie-blasting workouts around. Still not convinced? Here are 30 big time reasons to hit the ground running.

The Run-Down—Your Action Plan

1. Do it anywhere
Run, that is. Whether on the treadmill or in the park, it’s easy to rack up miles. Even better: Try lacing up the sneakers on that next vacation to explore a new place.

2. Visit the doctor less
It’s not only apples that can keep the doctor away. Active people are less likely to develop colon cancer. And ladies, women who regularly engage in intense workouts like running can reduce their risk of breast cancer by up to 30 percent.

3. Live longer
Who doesn’t want to live forever? Not only do runners have fewer disabilities and remain active longer than their sedentary counterparts, they actually live longer. And even as weekly running times decrease with age, the healthy benefits keep on ticking.

4. Get primal
Turns out Bruce Springsteen was right after all: Baby, we were born to run. It’s what turned us from apes to humans and was used by our ancestors to outrun prey over long distances.

5. Slip into skinny jeans
Running is one of the best calorie burners out there. For a 160-lb person it can burn more than 850 calories an hour.

6. Boost memory
Exercise has been shown to help keep the mind sharp and could even reduce symptoms of dementia. Hitting the track might also protect the brain against Alzheimer’s, even among those with a family history of it.

7. Improve self-esteem
Need one more excuse to go green? Runners who ran outside and snagged a good view of nature showed increased self-esteem post-workout than those who had only unpleasant scenes to gaze at.

8. Stay steady
Older runners can keep their balance better than non-runners, protecting their knees and tendons in the process. Take that, yoga! Be careful not to overdo it, though: Too much exercise can lead to stress injuries and bone loss.

9. Turn down the pressure
Running is a natural way to keep high blood pressure at bay—and fast. Amping up workouts can help lower blood pressure in just a few weeks.

10. Build stronger bones
Resistance training is awesome, but word on the street is that running might help produce even stronger bones than cranking out reps. As an impact exercise, running helps build the muscle that lower-impact workouts ignore, keeping bones healthier even as they age.

11. Get an energy boost
Feeling sluggish? Try going for a run instead. Just one running sesh can increase energy and chip away at fatigue.

12. Carve that core
A strong core improves posture, strengthens limbs, and helps make everyday activities a breeze. And whether we feel it or not, running engages that midsection, strengthening those all-important muscles. Bonus: A solid core in runners can improve performance, too.

13. Sleep better
Runners tend to adapt to set sleeping routines in order to keep running performance high. Even better: Running also encourages higher quality sleep, which translates into better Zzz’s all night long.

14. Check off those goals
Studies suggest that people who set and meet (or exceed) long-term fitness goals (like signing up for a half-marathon!) are more committed and satisfied with their exercise routines than those who trudge along aimlessly. And who doesn’t feel good about crossing items off their bucket list?

15. Show your heart some loving
Running for just an hour a week can reduce the risk of heart disease by almost half compared to non-runners. And for those already hitting the recommended physical activity guidelines, an extra spurt of exercise can lower the risks of heart disease even more. (Just be mindful not to overdo it and cause more damage than good.)

reasons to run

Need even more reasons to lace up? Check out this Greatist article for more.

About the Author


Greatist helps you find what’s good for you. Not like “eat your vegetables, they’re good for you.” More like “here are some choices you can realistically make, stick with, and feel really good about.” Because in the end, you don’t have to choose between being happy and being healthy; they’re really the same thing.




25 responses to “15 Convincing Reasons to Start Running Today”

  1. Avatar Clara says:

    What about walking?

  2. Avatar Clara says:

    I’ve been walking for years, is it therapy for me. I’m not a runner.

    • Avatar ClickToThink says:

      I do the same thing, I love to walk. I usually run outside for a bit then walk towards the end of my session to view the outdoors around me. It’s very relaxing, especially if I need to clear my mind.

  3. Avatar carla says:

    Planning to add some regular jog spots to my treadmill walk today. Old knees can’t run around a track anymore, but I can shake up a walk.

    • Avatar Aroop Kundu says:

      you shouldn’t run… don’t trust this trash article… spreading misinformation..try swimming.. it’s much safer

      • Avatar ClickToThink says:

        I disagree, running can be very effective if one does it correctly. One must work on their form to become a good runner and not endure the physical effects. But, if one has bad knees then it may not be the best.

        However, I agree with you about the swimming. This is one of the best cardio workouts that one can do. When I swim, I feel like I just did a Cross Fit session. Also, I’ve been told that cycling is great.

        • Avatar Aroop Kundu says:

          i meant cycling and swimming burn more calories per unit time then running …. plus without straining the body so much… I’m a regular swimmer and i come out fresh after a session as compared to a session of of jogging for the same time

          • Avatar ClickToThink says:

            Oh yeah, then you are 100 percent correct. Swimming and cycling are much less intensive on the body. I want to get a bike, but they are so expensive. I run a lot, but I want to transition to swimming since it works out so many muscle groups.

    • Avatar ClickToThink says:

      Walking is very effective, I walk more than I run (most of the time).

  4. Avatar Ty C says:

    There are so many more effective and less boring ways to accomplish every mark on that list.

    Should have just said 15 convincing reasons to start exercising. This didn’t motivate me to run at all.

    • Avatar Aroop Kundu says:

      agreed…. let’s understand that the author’s getting paid to complete his assignments

    • Avatar moyer566 says:

      running is only as boring as you let it be
      my run in the morning is anything but boring. saying hi to fellow runners and walkers. watching wildlife. enjoying the silence before the bustle of the day.

  5. Avatar Chanel says:

    I love running! It’s not for everyone do what you love and what makes you happy!

  6. Avatar Aroop Kundu says:

    other than weight loss all the above benefits can be better obtained from weight training… with improved looks
    in fact too much running can harm the joints… interval training is a better alternative to cardio for fat loss

    • Avatar Jevgeni Ardassov says:

      Yeah. Yeah. U gym freaks would be drowning in a pool of ur own sweat in just a mile, talk about stamina…

      Get a good gear. Choose ur track, no harm will be done to joints.

      • Avatar Aroop Kundu says:

        why would you be worried about stamina? only forest gump needs it cz he has to run all day! weight training provides sufficient cardio vascular training for keeping the engine running in prime form

  7. Avatar Scott Talbot says:

    Running is “what turned us from apes to humans”???

  8. Avatar Eddie Stage says:

    I had a knee replacement and my doctor said that I was NOT to run. I used to do 6-12 miles a day, 6 days a week. That is why my cartiledge in my knee deteriorated to nothing. He wants to replace the other knee, but I have to hold off until I retire, even though it hurts like heck to walk much. I can’t even go roller skating like I have done most of my life. Walking is about the best that I am ALLOWED to do, I average around 12000 painful steps a day. So those of you that say that we should run, you best consider different circumstances before you run your mouth.

    • Avatar Mike says:

      Pretty sure no one is going to read this article and start a 70 mile a week program based on it… Ever heard of too much of a good thing?

    • Avatar José Ramón says:

      The article doesn’t specify on what surface. As an advanced runner you should have known better. You can only train on hard surfaces if you are a lightweight. On grass is the way to go.

  9. Avatar Mary says:

    You lost me at #4. Totally blew your credibility with me. Wondering where you got that information?

  10. Avatar John says:

    “Not only do runners have fewer disabilities and remain active longer than their sedentary counterparts, they actually live longer.”

    I have a feeling that part of the reason runners have fewer disabilities (etc) is probably because it’s very difficult to run WITH a disability. Surprise – if you got lucky with your genes & are a healthy person, you can run. Also, surprise, if you got lucky with your genese & are a healthy person, you might be able to live longer. I’m sure running keeps people in shape, but to say it’s the main reason they live longer might be stretching it.

  11. Avatar Shan Osullivan says:

    I think ur all negative a holes that think they know everything get A grip people

  12. Avatar Rb says:

    I recently gained about 20 kgs after delivery. .. I lost 10 kgs and weigh 89 kgs now. I lost first 7 kgs by walking and good diet.. then the scale was showing no change… so I started running and went on gluten free dairy free diet.. immediately dropped 3 kgs. It may be coz of running m not sure what worked… I plan to continue diet and running. But m getting worried about my knees. But m determined to continue because I have seen the results. I do 1 hour 6 days. .. and burn about 500-800 calories a day by combination of running and walking… 60% running and 40% walking… and yes I forgot to mention I have hypothyroidism since 10 years and m 30.

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