Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the United States (CDC). Participating in physical activity that increases your heart rate should be a part of your daily routine to not only promote heart health but also aid in maintaining a healthy body weight. Running is one of the most common ways to increase cardio health and is a form of exercise that utilizes a majority of the body. Running is an easy and inexpensive form of physical activity that strengthens and tones core muscles and can also strengthen and tone your mood, stress level, immune system and overall well-being!
When you take time out of your day to dedicate to exercise, you are benefiting your body, but also your mind. Running allows you to release built-up, excess energy and hormones that may contribute to stress. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that can be produced in the body when you are in a state of stress. Over time, cortisol levels can build up in the body and can promote weight gain. When the body is not well-trained, it reacts to exercise as a form of stress on the body by releasing cortisol. The more trained your body is, the less cortisol will be released and the body with adapt to not needing it as much during physical activity. Once your body reaches this point, it can better handle both physical and emotional stress. The result is a less stressful, healthier YOU!
Many doctors recommend running to individuals who are in the pre stages of disease such as diabetes, hypertension, and osteoporosis in women. Your heart is the life-line to the proper functioning of your other organs by supplying them with proper oxygen-rich blood. Strengthening your heart helps maintain the elasticity in your blood vessels and creates an overall stronger system to adequately feed the rest of your body the nutrients it needs to function. By incorporating cardio into your daily routine, you can significantly decrease your risk for heart disease and other related diseases.
Cardio can be a major contributor to your mood and overall sense of feeling. Not only does running promote the release of built-up hormones, it also promotes the release of your “feel-good” hormones that will naturally promote a positive mood. Running has even been considered a natural treatment for certain forms of depression. Over time, many people find that running on a regular basis increases their overall energy levels!