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The Health Benefits Of Running

Running is not only an enjoyable activity but has some serious health benefits for those who take it up. Running builds muscle, strengthens bone and is an excellent all over body workout. This article explores the health benefits of running in a little more detail.

1. Reduced Risk of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a weakness in the bone structure leading to bones becoming more hollow or porous (hence the term porosis). This leads to bones becoming brittle and more susceptible to being damaged by a fall. Some people can inherit the disease due to their genetic make up, but more often than not this condition is associated with the ageing process and lack of exercise. Running requires the constant use of bones keeping them in good working order and reducing the risk of osteoporosis with age.

2. Builds Muscle, Tones, Firms and Helps with Weight Loss

Running builds muscle due to the constant exercise and effort required when you run. As you run, muscles are constantly working to propel you forward and adjust to uneven surfaces, and this continued usage allows muscle tissue to develop, firming and toning legs and bums

If you need to lose weight, running is a great calorie burner and will help you reduce fat quickly, especially if combined with a good diet.

Tip: To reduce your weight, ensure that you develop a running plan with a personal trainer that burns more calories than you consume.

If, however, you are already quite slim when you start running, you may notice that you actually gain weight. Don't be alarmed; this is because muscle is denser than fat and if you are carrying less fat in the first place, the increased muscle tone will make you heavier.

3. Strengthened Cardio Vascular System

This is the system that controls your heart and running has excellent benefits in this area. As you run, your heart works hard to keep your muscles supplied with oxygen to keep moving. You heart is also a muscle and over time the constant work out it receives from running strengthens it and may reduce the risk of heart disease and ultimately, heart failure.

In addition, running can also benefit your arteries. As you run your heart pumps harder to keep up with the body's demand for oxygen. This increases the pressure flowing through your arteries and flushes them out, getting rid of fatty cholesterol deposits that may have clung to the wall of your arteries.

It is these fatty deposits which, unless dealt with, can restrict arteries to such an extent that blood is unable to reach the heart in sufficient quantities, thus causing a heart attack. Regular running can help keep your arteries in good working order. Think of it as a high pressure water hose on a dirty path, clearing away the rubbish and dirt that has stuck to the path.

4. Improved Respiratory System

When you run your heart pumps more blood to all areas of your system. One of the first things you might notice when you take up running is how out of breath you feel. This is because of a lack of capillaries, which are tiny little blood vessels that supply blood to your lungs to keep them keep working. As you run more regularly, the number of capillaries supplying your lungs with oxygen increase and become more efficient, improving your respiratory system over time.

5. Improved Ability to Fight off Illnesses

Because running is such a good form of exercise boosting your cardio vascular and respiratory systems, this improves your body's ability to fight off coughs, colds and viruses. Whilst it won't make you immune to them you will find that you suffer less and recover more quickly.

Article by J Dawkins of http://www.friendsandmoney.co.uk.

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