What Are the Benefits and Risks of Running

What Are the Benefits and Risks of Running?

Do you want to start exercising or doing aerobic exercise but still don’t know if running is for you? In this article, we will cover the benefits and risks of running and other essential points that will help you to understand if this sport is suitable for your body.

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How Often Should I Run?

As with any other physical activity, your body must have an adequate rest interval so that your muscles can fully recover. Rest time may vary according to your fitness level, in addition to the volume and intensity of physical activity.

In this sense, having a rest interval of 24 to 48 hours can be a good strategy not to overload your muscles and, consequently, avoid injuries. This means that when doing a light workout, your body may recover in 1 day, while two days of rest can be adequate for heavy activities. Remember to start slowly and pay attention to your body’s signals!

What Are the Risks of Running?

Running can be highly beneficial to your health when you know what you’re doing. On the other hand, choosing an activity that is not suitable for your body or practising it without knowledge can harm your health.

Therefore, it is important to consider some risks of running:

  1. Intense and prolonged resistance exercise can cause irregular myocardial fibrosis, which can develop atrial and ventricular arrhythmias.
  2. Excessive prolonged exercise may also be responsible for other heart and arterial diseases such as coronary artery calcification, myocardial and ventricular conditions.
  3. As an impact exercise, running can still damage muscles, tendons and ligaments – especially in the lower body.

How to Run Safely

Although running is a sport that many people can practice, there are some precautions you should take to ensure you will not harm your body:

1. Consult a Doctor

Keep in mind that you should always consult a doctor or specialist before doing anything that could affect your health. If you want to start running, come from a long sedentary period, or are over 40 years old, you must choose an activity suitable for your fitness level, so seek the opinion of those who are qualified to guide you.

2. Wear Running Shoes and Proper Clothes

You should wear running shoes that have shock-absorbing material in the heel, are flexible, comfortable, and light. This will ensure that you minimize the impact of running on your muscles, tendons and ligaments.

It is also essential that you wear clothing with reflective material, especially if you are used to running outside.

3. Hydrate Properly

If possible, carry a water bottle with you so you can hydrate yourself before, during and after physical activity – especially if you live in warm areas. Avoiding running during the hottest parts of the day can also be an excellent strategy to prevent dehydration.

4. Plan the Route

Avoid running in places with uneven surfaces. Keep in mind that, while running, your muscles, tendons, and ligaments will be overloaded by your body weight, so you must run on suitable surfaces – no holes, bumps or obstacles that can hinder your performance.

Tip: Try to choose populated areas where people already run or practice physical activities regularly. Avoid remote, dark, or potentially dangerous areas.

5. Stretch After Exercising

This practice ensures that you don’t have tight muscles after running, decreasing muscle tension caused by physical activities. Also, stretching after running can help improve and maintain your flexibility, improving your overall performance.

6. Stop Immediately if You Get Hurt

If you get injured while running or doing any other sport, stop and look for a doctor. Continuing to exercise while you are in pain can aggravate injuries and cause even more severe health problems.

What are the Benefits of Running?

1. Improve your Mental Health

According to this study, exercising improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and bad mood, in addition to boosting your self-esteem and cognitive function. This same study shows that exercising can still improve your sleep, energy and stamina, reducing tiredness and increasing mental alertness.

2. Running can Help You Live Longer

Another study shows that running has a significant impact on longevity. In this sense, science shows that, in general, runners have a 25-40% reduced risk of premature mortality. The same study also suggests that running may also be linked to the prevention of chronic illnesses.

3. It Helps to Control Body Weight and Burn Fat

In 2014, researchers performed a controlled study that included inactive but healthy adults (18-65 years). This experiment was carried out with a minimum of 8 weeks of running training and brought a very positive outlook for this sport practice. According to the results, endurance running provided considerable beneficial effects concerning body mass and fat burning, improved heart rate, and others. In this sense, the longer the training duration, the greater the health benefits.

4. Boost your Immunity and Reduce Risk of Diseases

Running can even improve immunity and reduce the risk of many diseases like cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. This does not mean that you should start running without any guidance if you have these or other health conditions. Consult your doctor to understand if your body is ready for it!

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