Healthy trail runningWe all know that regular exercise is one of the major keys to maintaining good health. But often, when we hear the word “exercise” we picture expensive gym memberships and fancy equipment. There is nothing wrong with either of those things, of course, but you would be overlooking one of the simplest and most effective methods of getting in shape: Running!

Whether you’re just thinking about it, or a seasoned runner looking for motivation to keep going, keep in mind these eight benefits of running.

It’s cheap. All you need is a good pair of running shoes, and you’re ready to hit the road.

It’s convenient. You can run just about anywhere, so you don’t have to leave your exercise routine behind when you travel. Just remember to pack your shoes!

It’s a great way to get around. Speaking of travel, going for a run is one of the best ways to explore a new city. Or, drive out to a nearby state park and enjoy the peace and tranquility of nature trails.

It’s a terrific anti-depressant. That “runner’s high” you’ve always heard about is no urban legend. Endorphins released by running help to lower stress, and leave you feeling happy and satisfied long after your run is over.

It’s charitable. If you’re going to run anyway, you might as well train for an upcoming 5k or marathon. You can get into better shape while also benefiting the charity of your choice!

It can help you make new friends. Running gives you a common interest with other fitness-minded folks, and you might even perform better by running with a friend.

It boosts your confidence. With running, it’s easy to track your progress. As you hit milestones or shave seconds off your running time each week, you will enjoy a feeling of accomplishment. This newfound confidence will likely spill over into other areas of your life, such as your career or personal relationships.

It helps you live a longer, healthier life. Running is one of the best cardiovascular exercises you can do, to keep your heart healthy. Plus, exercise helps to keep your weight under control, preventing the development of many common diseases.

As always, schedule an appointment with us before beginning a new exercise routine. We can check you for underlying conditions that might make exercise dangerous, and offer expert nutrition advice to help you reach your goals.