Reasons to Run Regularly

By Matt Forsman A.K.A. Marathon Matt, February 24, 2016

 

If you spend any time searching online, you will find millions of training plans, articles, coaches, and experts espousing the ‘best’ way to train.

Part of the reason for the glut of options out there is because everyone is different. One person may respond to a certain training approach positively. Someone else may not see the same kind of results.

You might have downloaded the SportMe Runner app because you were looking for a better way to train for your 5K, 10K, half marathon, or marathon.

A big part of what we are trying to do at SportMe is accommodate for all runners and develop dynamic training plans that take into account your running fitness, experience, goals, and challenges.

But, regardless of the approach you employ to train for your race or running goal, there’s one proven approach to training that never fails: Consistency over time. Be ruthlessly consistent and you will see the results. Stick to your plan over time and you will be rewarded.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to run 365 days a year. Although, some do this.

You don’t have to run 365 miles in a year. Although, some (including Mark Zuckerberg) do. But if you do, SportMe can help you stay on track.

Why is running regularly a big deal? We can think of at least 365 reasons, but we’ll limit ourselves to ten big ones. Read on.

#1 - Running regularly helps you run farther.

Once you’ve conquered a mile, it’s natural to want to conquer two. From there, running can become a slippery slope. You run a 5K, and a 10K no longer seems like a quantum leap.

If part of what you’re trying to accomplish as a runner is going farther, few things will serve you better than running on a regular basis.

If you run on a regular basis whether it’s three days a week or seven days a week, your body will adapt to the act of running. Your body will evolve and become better equipped to handle the various challenges and stressors that accompany the act of running.

Your body becomes more economical and efficient at running. This makes running less taxing. Hence, running longer becomes easier.

However, this evolution only happens if you’re running on a regular basis.

#2 - Running regularly helps you get faster.

Most runners tend to be Type-A, goal oriented individuals. As soon as a runner masters covering a particular distance, the next goal is most frequently getting faster at the desired distance.

There are a variety of things you can do to get faster. Intervals at the track can help you develop speed. Including tempo runs in your training can help address your need for speed as well. The SportMe Runner app can help you incorporate the aforementioned into your training plan on a consistent basis.

Consistency is the key. Doing a grueling session of intervals at the track once is great, but it’s not enough. If you’re wanting to post a personal best, qualify for Boston, or otherwise run faster, these kind of workouts need to be incorporated into your training on a regular basis.

If incorporated thoughtfully and regularly, you will get faster.

#3 - Running regularly makes you smarter.

If getting smarter is anything you’re interested in, running regularly can help your cause. As it turns out, running stimulates neurogenesis. For the uninitiated, this means running helps foster the growth of brain cells.

While it may not be exactly clear how this happens, running clearly helps your brain function better. Can any of us afford to ‘not’ be smarter? If you want to stay sharp, improve your memory, and become a member of Mensa, it behooves you to run on a regular basis.

#4 - Running regularly makes you happier.

Dovetailing with the previous item, depression is frequently linked with reduced neurogenesis. So, by running on a regular basis you’re helping to stave off depression.

Independent of the generation of new brain cells, there’s a potent chemical cocktail released when you run. Included in this cocktail is serotonin and melatonin. Running catalyzes the release of natural anti-depressants.

If you’re looking to stave off depression or simply looking to improve your general mood/outlook, running on a regular basis can help.

#5 - Running regularly makes you sexier.

Running regularly makes you sexier. It’s just science, folks. Regular running (or exercise in general), boosts your libido. This is partially due to the stress reducing effect running has.

3-5 sessions of short, sharp exercise sessions of 20-60 minutes can increase testosterone production in men, which contributes to increased confidence and sexual desire.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, getting into a regular running routine may be just what you need to improve your love life.

#6 - Running regularly makes you younger.

Forget Botox and plastic surgery. Running is the real deal. It is a veritable fountain of youth. Well, that may be overstating things a bit.

Running isn’t necessarily going to make you younger. But, there’s science backing up the idea that running actually slows the aging process.

So, if you want to stay as young and spry as long as possible, running regularly can help your cause.

#7 - Running regularly makes it easier to rationalize new shoes, gear, apparel.

One of the cool things about being a regular runner is it becomes easier to rationalize purchasing shoes, gear, and apparel.

It’s said you have to dress the part. If you don’t have the latest pair of running kicks, a GPS watch, and apparel that wicks away sweat, can you really call yourself a runner?

#8 - Running regularly makes it easier to rationalize being self-indulgent.

Running burns about 100 calories per mile. That’s not much. Run a couple miles and you might be able to rationalize eating a biscotti.

But, if you’re running 3-5 miles 3 times/week, you’re looking at 900-1,500 calories a week.

Certainly, we’re not encouraging you to be self-indulgent, but it is easier to rationalize a glass of wine, a beer, or even a burger every once in awhile if you’re logging miles on the regular.

#9 - Running regularly gives you more energy.

While the act of running may be taxing or even exhausting at times, the reality is running gives you more energy.

The mere act of inhaling fresh air helps facilitate this. Deep, long breaths of air increases the amount of oxygen that’s transported to your body’s cells.

This increased oxygen in your body equates to greater energy and clarity of mind.

So, if you’re in need of more energy (who isn’t?), run on a more regular basis.

#10 - You can find love on the run.

This may seem like a shameless Valentine’s Day tie-in, but it is true that you can find love on the run.

I’ve been witness to it COUNTLESS times.

There are more than a handful of couples who met through my Run Club. There are more than a handful who walked the aisle. A few of them have a few kids.

Independent of love of the romantic kind, I’ve been witness to innumerable instances of platonic love. People meet as strangers and after a few runs they are friends for life.

Running just has a knack for catalyzing love. The wonderful chemical bath known as ‘the runner’s high’ might have something to do with it.

The more you run regularly, the greater the chance you have of finding love.

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