Those looking to lose a few pounds often find running to be one of the most effective forms of exercise for helping them to achieve their ideal body weight. Running is an excellent form of exercise for losing weight because it requires a great deal of energy. This energy requirement means the body burns a large number of calories while running. The number of calories burned while running is typically significantly more than would be burned during less taxing forms of exercise such as walking or doing yoga. The simplest formula for weight loss includes burning off more calories than the individual consumes. When this type of calorie deficit is created, the body begins to shed excess weight in the form of fat. In order to lose one pound of body weight, the body must create a calorie deficit of 3500 calories. This is equal to burning 500 calories per day. Most runners can easily burn off this many calories in less than one hour of exercise. The number of calories burned while running depends on a number of factors including the individual’s weight, the intensity of the workout and the efficiency of the runner.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Improved cardiovascular health is another benefit of running. Some of the benefits of running include lowering the blood pressure and helping the arteries to maintain their elasticity. While runner, the arteries expand and contract approximately three times as much as they do when you are sedentary. This means you are not only working out to improve your physical appearance but also the overall function of your body. In doing this the risk of heart attack and stroke becomes diminished.
Slowing Down the Aging Process
Running is also beneficial for slowing down the aging process. Those who run regularly are less likely to experience bone and muscle loss as they age at the same pace as those who do not run regularly or at all. The bones grow and become stronger by responding to physical demands. Those who lead a rather sedentary lifestyle do not put this type of demand on their bones and as a result the bones may become weaker. When this happens the individual is more likely to be susceptible to osteoporosis as they age. Conversely, those who run on a regular basis are continually taxing their muscles and their bones so the bones are stimulated to remain stronger and do not as easily weaken with age.