The Cardio Benefits Of Running

The Mental Health Benefits of Running

Running For Better Health

All forms of running are a type of aerobic exercise in the sense that all movement stimulates your heart rate, gets your blood flowing faster and gives your lungs a workout.

Is running always good for your heart, though? Not always.

Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of running when it comes to building a strong cardiovascular system.

How Does Running Impact the Cardiovascular System?

Oxygen is the body’s main carrier of energy. So, whenever you engage in running, or any form of exercise, your muscles call for more oxygen to help them function and grow stronger.

That means your heart must spring into action circulating oxygenated blood from the lungs to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Since the heart is a muscle itself, the extra exertions help it to grow stronger, too. Likewise, the diaphragm and intercostal muscles between the ribs benefit from the extra exertion.

When these muscles are stronger, you’re better able to draw in deep breaths to oxygenate the blood.

In this way, running has a cyclical effect on the body, where the oxygen requirements demanded by exercise help improve the cardiovascular system that powers that exercise.

A stronger cardiovascular system means you can exercise for longer, and the more you exercise the stronger your cardiovascular system gets.

The Benefits of Running for Heart Health

Researchers have long been fascinated by the link between running and cardiovascular health, so there is a large body of study on this subject.

From this, the overwhelming consensus is that people who run regularly live longer than non-runners. They also have a 30% lower risk of dying from health issues and a 45% lower risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke.

Even those study subjects who ran infrequently – or slowly, benefitted more than sedentary test subjects.

Additional studies show that distance athletes develop ‘athlete’s heart’, a condition that results in the left ventricle becoming larger and thicker than usual. Once considered abnormal, scientists now consider this optimal for heart health, since it allows the organ to operate more efficiently.

This accounts for the fact that dedicated runners usually have a low resting pulse rate (ideal resting HR is 50-70 BPM), meaning the heart can pump more volume per beat. More blood circulating through the body means there’s more oxygen circulating, too.

Oxygen provides energy for many body functions, and high oxygen levels have several health benefits, i.e.:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Faster cell repair
  • Improved immunity
  • Better sleep
  • Mental alertness

There are even more benefits associated with a strong heart. These include improved blood flow leading to:

  • More balanced blood pressure
  • Less cholesterol
  • Fewer blockages of the arteries

In turn, these factors combined reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

When Is Running Bad for You?

Running isn’t always good for your heart.

The many benefits of running don’t guarantee immunity to organic heart disease. Further studies reveal that runners can also develop Phidippides cardiomyopathy at high levels of training and excessive endurance exercise.

This is a rare condition in which the increased efficiency of the left ventricle has an adverse effect on the right ventricle and atrium, due to overload.

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a congenital cardiovascular disease where the heart muscle becomes abnormally thickened, is the number one cause of sudden exercise-related death in young athletes. It’s less common in athletes who participate in lower-level sustained exercise than those who take part in extreme events, such as ultra-marathons.

Medical supervision is imperative for runners who take part in these activities, as well as high-risk individuals. If you’ve engaged in long-term alcohol misuse, have high blood pressure, or have a family history of heart conditions, you should have regular medical check-ups to ensure you enjoy the best benefits of extreme exertion with reduced risk.

Pre-existing conditions aren’t the only high-risk factors associated with running. It’s not a good idea to run if you have a cold or flu-like symptoms, either.

Running when you’re sick can lead to dehydration, dizziness, and breathing difficulties which place strain on your heart, especially if you’re suffering from symptoms, like:

  • Chest congestion or tightness
  • Hampered breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle or joint aches

Rather let your body focus its energy on healing. You’ll recover much faster if you rest when you’re sick.

Most runners use the ‘neck check’ as a measure of whether they should run or not. That means if the symptoms are above your neck, like a runny nose, you’re good to go. Any lower than that, and you shouldn’t risk it.

If you suffer from asthma, or a heart condition, don’t head out for a run without talking to your doctor first.

Walking is a far safer activity if you’re not feeling well, and you want to maintain some of your fitness. By taking it easy, you’ll recover from your illness far quicker than if you try to push through it. Once recovered, you can start to build up your running regime once again.

Is it OK to Run with Sore Muscles?

Many people believe that more running will relieve stiff, sore muscles from a previous workout. This simply isn’t true.

Modern studies have revealed that you can make matters worse by training hard with sore muscles. Rather focus on stretching exercises for a few days if you’re feeling uncomfortably sore after a run.

Overdoing it can lead to more serious strain in your tissues and even permanent injuries. If you’re in any doubt about why you’re feeling sore from a workout, speak to your doctor before resuming your usual routine.

Discover More Benefits of Running

The vast majority of people can enjoy enhanced heart health from regular exercise, so don’t let fears of any side effects put you off.

If you’re unsure about whether to take up running, ask your doctor for advice. They know you best and will give you unbiased and helpful advice on how to get started, so you can maximize the benefits of running.

Would you like some more information about exercising for better health? Browse our blog for more.

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Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

The Mental Health Benefits of Running

Running For Better Health

All forms of running are a type of aerobic exercise in the sense that all movement stimulates your heart rate, gets your blood flowing faster and gives your lungs a workout.

Is running always good for your heart, though? Not always.

Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of running when it comes to building a strong cardiovascular system.

How Does Running Impact the Cardiovascular System?

Oxygen is the body’s main carrier of energy. So, whenever you engage in running, or any form of exercise, your muscles call for more oxygen to help them function and grow stronger.

That means your heart must spring into action circulating oxygenated blood from the lungs to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Since the heart is a muscle itself, the extra exertions help it to grow stronger, too. Likewise, the diaphragm and intercostal muscles between the ribs benefit from the extra exertion.

When these muscles are stronger, you’re better able to draw in deep breaths to oxygenate the blood.

In this way, running has a cyclical effect on the body, where the oxygen requirements demanded by exercise help improve the cardiovascular system that powers that exercise.

A stronger cardiovascular system means you can exercise for longer, and the more you exercise the stronger your cardiovascular system gets.

The Benefits of Running for Heart Health

Researchers have long been fascinated by the link between running and cardiovascular health, so there is a large body of study on this subject.

From this, the overwhelming consensus is that people who run regularly live longer than non-runners. They also have a 30% lower risk of dying from health issues and a 45% lower risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke.

Even those study subjects who ran infrequently – or slowly, benefitted more than sedentary test subjects.

Additional studies show that distance athletes develop ‘athlete’s heart’, a condition that results in the left ventricle becoming larger and thicker than usual. Once considered abnormal, scientists now consider this optimal for heart health, since it allows the organ to operate more efficiently.

This accounts for the fact that dedicated runners usually have a low resting pulse rate (ideal resting HR is 50-70 BPM), meaning the heart can pump more volume per beat. More blood circulating through the body means there’s more oxygen circulating, too.

Oxygen provides energy for many body functions, and high oxygen levels have several health benefits, i.e.:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Faster cell repair
  • Improved immunity
  • Better sleep
  • Mental alertness

There are even more benefits associated with a strong heart. These include improved blood flow leading to:

  • More balanced blood pressure
  • Less cholesterol
  • Fewer blockages of the arteries

In turn, these factors combined reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

When Is Running Bad for You?

Running isn’t always good for your heart.

The many benefits of running don’t guarantee immunity to organic heart disease. Further studies reveal that runners can also develop Phidippides cardiomyopathy at high levels of training and excessive endurance exercise.

This is a rare condition in which the increased efficiency of the left ventricle has an adverse effect on the right ventricle and atrium, due to overload.

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a congenital cardiovascular disease where the heart muscle becomes abnormally thickened, is the number one cause of sudden exercise-related death in young athletes. It’s less common in athletes who participate in lower-level sustained exercise than those who take part in extreme events, such as ultra-marathons.

Medical supervision is imperative for runners who take part in these activities, as well as high-risk individuals. If you’ve engaged in long-term alcohol misuse, have high blood pressure, or have a family history of heart conditions, you should have regular medical check-ups to ensure you enjoy the best benefits of extreme exertion with reduced risk.

Pre-existing conditions aren’t the only high-risk factors associated with running. It’s not a good idea to run if you have a cold or flu-like symptoms, either.

Running when you’re sick can lead to dehydration, dizziness, and breathing difficulties which place strain on your heart, especially if you’re suffering from symptoms, like:

  • Chest congestion or tightness
  • Hampered breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle or joint aches

Rather let your body focus its energy on healing. You’ll recover much faster if you rest when you’re sick.

Most runners use the ‘neck check’ as a measure of whether they should run or not. That means if the symptoms are above your neck, like a runny nose, you’re good to go. Any lower than that, and you shouldn’t risk it.

If you suffer from asthma, or a heart condition, don’t head out for a run without talking to your doctor first.

Walking is a far safer activity if you’re not feeling well, and you want to maintain some of your fitness. By taking it easy, you’ll recover from your illness far quicker than if you try to push through it. Once recovered, you can start to build up your running regime once again.

Is it OK to Run with Sore Muscles?

Many people believe that more running will relieve stiff, sore muscles from a previous workout. This simply isn’t true.

Modern studies have revealed that you can make matters worse by training hard with sore muscles. Rather focus on stretching exercises for a few days if you’re feeling uncomfortably sore after a run.

Overdoing it can lead to more serious strain in your tissues and even permanent injuries. If you’re in any doubt about why you’re feeling sore from a workout, speak to your doctor before resuming your usual routine.

Discover More Benefits of Running

The vast majority of people can enjoy enhanced heart health from regular exercise, so don’t let fears of any side effects put you off.

If you’re unsure about whether to take up running, ask your doctor for advice. They know you best and will give you unbiased and helpful advice on how to get started, so you can maximize the benefits of running.

Would you like some more information about exercising for better health? Browse our blog for more.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

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