With increasing life dynamics and the need to keep healthy, exercise is a necessity for all. Narrowing it down, running is one of the exercise activities championed over time. However, to what extent have we considered benefits attributed to running among the men around us?
While it is not clear whether running benefits men more than other societal members, this article sheds light on what has been ascertained as an outcome of running for the men. It could be physical, medical, or psychological, and we break it down for you in the subsequent sections.
· Building strong bones
All forms of exercise are valuable; however, a man needs an activity that builds him. Gym workouts will crack you up, but running is high impact whose load and stress remakes your bones and muscles. Other aerobic activities such as swimming and cycling will not work/ train your bones. A daily run is what your body needs to build strong bones.
· Strengthening muscles
Every man’s dream is building up strong muscles. This is not easy or for the fainthearted. You got to dust off the running attire and take the first step towards the perfect body.
Note: running time is key to transformation. Do not just bolt out to finish a target, take longer sessions in a day to keep running softly but making an impact on your muscular tissues.
· Maintaining a healthy weight
A workout in the gym for one hour helps you burn about 300 calories, as observed by Fetters. Imagine this is half the amount you burn when running for the same amount of time. There goes a cheaper and effective way of achieving that desired weight at the same time with fewer resources needed.
· Improved cardiovascular fitness
A functional body requires an equally healthy heart, and running helps in achieving the proper functionality of your blood vessels. Running for 3-4 times weekly for about half to one hour is among the best tool for improving the fitness of your heart and lungs.
It is reported that regular running protects you from a first cardiac episode and contributes to quick recovery from coronary surgeries while reducing the risk of reoccurrence of cardiac events.
· Reduced cancer risk
Regular exercise reduces the risk of getting cancer. Running, in particular, lowers the likelihood of new cancer diagnosis while enhancing the prognosis of cancer patients (Moore et al., 2016). Running and reduction in cancer cases have a high correlation irrespective of body size or prior smoking habits.
· Improved knees and back
It may be hard to believe that running improves your knees and backs since it is considered an impact sport, hard on the joints. While some runners develop knee pain and have to switch to cycling, inactive guys with no history of running have worse knee and back issues on average than those who’ve made running a lifestyle.
· Improved fertility
For men, running has an amazing way of adjusting out and revealing the ultimate benefits. Running has been found to improve fertility through improved erections and higher sperm count. A few months of 15 hours weekly running will offer transformative erection action for a man.
Further, running places you at a 73% higher sperm concentration than inactive men. It further increases your levels of testosterone hence observed sperm-health benefits.
· Enhanced immunity
Several researchers have committed their time to explore the interlinks between running and improved immunity. Reports show that modest running improves immunity.
Running will boost your body’s surveillance against diseases, reduce the risk of respiratory infections and flu-like ailments, and improve the response of antibodies in case of a threat.
Men, be cautious, it’s moderate, not uncontrolled, running that will improve your immune functions.
Psychological benefits of running
· Sharper brain
Research conducted on running benefits reveals that seven weeks of running enhanced cognitive flexibility. Running improves BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which is a catalyst for growth of new neurons. Besides, running strengthens neural connections linked to higher-level brain functionality.
· Slow aging process
While a few of us only want to live longer, a majority wishes for a healthy, productive, and active life. Running enables you to attain better body composition, better hormonal regulation, and a younger cellular level. Research has shown that running increases lifespan with one such study proving that running increases the production of enzyme telomerase and length of telomeres, a DNA sequence which protects cells from age-related decline.
So, why live less while there is an option to live longer?
· Building a mental toughness
Running builds in your mental toughness and obstinacy that translates to all areas of your life. If you can hack a 25-mile run, you can get your body to handle anything. The mindset and determination towards running goals can translate in helping you work through other career and life aspects.
Running is goal-oriented and motivates you to achieve your goals through consistency and effort.
Here are a few pointers to kick start you:
- See your clinician for a check-up to ensure that running is safe especially if you have not been in exercise for long
- As a starter, begin off with brisk walking, progress to jogging and can comfortably transform to jogging to avoid instant body strain
- Run with a friend, a spouse, or a child. This will build up companionship as it builds your body
- Allow rest for a couple of days a week to avoid overtraining
- Choose a running route not close to roads to prevent contact with vehicle exhaust fumes which increase the risk of illnesses
- Program your runs for early morning or late evenings
Have you been running? Let us know how the journey has been for you. Leave a comment on your experience and give pointers to starters
Do you desire to take up running? Feel encouraged, its one-step at a time to your happy place.
- Amby Barfoot, 2020 10 Astounding and Evidence-Supported Health Benefits of Running accessed online on 30th March from https://www.podiumrunner.com/culture/10-amazing-benefits-running-might-not-known/
- Fetters K. Aleisha, 25reasons running is better than the gym accessed online on 31st March 2020 from https://www.mensjurnal.com/health-fitness/25-reaons-running-better-gym/
- Markham Heid, 2016 5 Ways Running Affects Your Penis and Balls accessed online on 31st Marc 2020 from https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19518904/how-running-affects-your-penis-and-balls/
- Moore, Steven C., et al. “Association of leisure-time physical activity with risk of 26 types of cancer in 1.44 million adults.” JAMA internal medicine 176.6(2016):816-825.
- New York State Department of Health. Physical Inactivity and Cardiovascular Disease accessed online on 31st March from https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/chronic/cvd.htm