A young jumps over water at a beach at sunset. Running can improve weight, cardiovascular disease risk, mental health, and more.
Photo by Keefikus on Unsplash

8 Benefits of Running

Running improves heart health, builds muscle, and increases bone density.

Michael Hunter, MD
Published in
7 min readMar 24

Running is a popular physical activity that can offer numerous benefits for physical and mental health. Today we explore 8 benefits of running.

This exercise form has been around for centuries. Not only is it a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air, but it also provides numerous health benefits.

From improving cardiovascular health to reducing stress and anxiety, running is a simple and effective way to improve your physical and mental well-being. In this article, we will explore the many health benefits of running and why it is a great exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels.

For this, be sure, tonight thou shalt have cramps, Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up.

Urchins Shall forth at vast of night that they may work

All exercise on thee.

Thou shalt be pinched As thick as honeycomb, each pinch more stinging

Than bees that made ’em. — William Shakespeare

1. Better cardiovascular health.

Running can help strengthen your heart and lungs, improving your cardiovascular health. Recent research has raised alarms regarding some long-distance runners’ heart plaque buildup and scarring.

On the other hand, other studies have suggested that when marathoners get heart disease, they can weather it better than non-runners.

A Stanford University study published in 2008 focused on runners and non-runners in their 50s. Scientists tracked them for over two decades. In the study start, the runners ran an average of approximately four hours weekly. After 21 years, their running time dropped to an average of 76 minutes per week, but the runners continued to experience positive health effects.

By the 19-year mark, 34 percent of non-runners had passed away (compared with 15 percent of runners).

What is clear is this: Avoiding sedentary behavior improves heart health.

2. Weight management.



Michael Hunter, MD

I have degrees from Harvard, Yale, and Penn. I am a radiation oncologist in the Seattle area. You may find me regularly posting at www.newcancerinfo.com

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