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What Happens To My Body When I Run? Nine Amazing Benefits

Why Do You Run?

Something that keeps us going every day and motivates us to get out of bed each day is knowing our WHY?

Everyone has their own personal reason(s) for running. For many, it could be a sense of accomplishment, or you like how it makes you feel, or it could give you a sense of purpose, or even for its amazing health benefits. Either way, knowing your WHY for why you’re running can be crucial if it’s something you want to keep doing it for the long haul.

But, even when doing the things we enjoy, we all can still hit slumps or bad days, so asking, “What happens to my body when I run?” just may be the anecdote to keep you motivated for running strong.

Heart Muscle Strengthens

Strong Heart

It’s pretty obvious your heart rate increases when running, and the greater the intensity, the more your heart beats, which brings a lot of benefits within your body.
It strengthens major organs, and most importantly, your heart. As your heart contracts and pumps blood, it becomes larger and stronger. With a strengthened heart, it does a good job of getting enough oxygen around your body.

As your heart muscles strengthen, it also becomes more efficient to provide…

Oxygen Increase

A strong heart can pump oxygen throughout your body. Your oxygen uptake increases as blood moves around your body, helping your brain, organs, and skin to breathe more because of the oxygen being delivered straight to all those body parts, making sure everything is running smoothly.

Body parts need a sufficient amount of oxygen for optimum performance.

Brain Power Boost

I mentioned more oxygen reaching the brain, making it stronger when you run. New nerve connections form, increasing brain cells and memory-making neurotransmitters are upgraded while running or during physical activity.

Your brain thrives off of the increased oxygen uptake and blood circulation.

I remember in college having to wake up, bright and early, at 6 AM to run with my teammates. I felt a lot more fresh, energized, and alert for my morning classes.

Increased Blood Flow

As it was mentioned earlier, running causing a spike in your heart rate, causing your heart to contract faster. This helps more blood to circulate throughout your body, enabling all the parts of your body to get the proper juice it needs to get going.

Stress Reduces

No matter who you are, we all get stressed at times, which is a totally normal part of life. Life can throw in a wrench to your daily life, but I know for me, running has proven to be a big stress reliever for me. Stress Free

When you run, your brain produces less stress hormones and gives you this amazing gift called endorphins. People will refer to it as the “runner’s high.” Your mind clears up and senses can start to relax and heighten.

Boy, My Mood Feels Great!

This goes right alongside with stress reduction. Running has done me a great service at helping to boost my self-confidence and how I see myself. What I have to thank for this is the enhanced production of the brain of certain neurotransmitters that make me feel better.

Dang! You Look Good… and Look At Those Muscles!

Muscles tear slightly in order for your body to rebuild its muscles. A result of this is muscles and muscle groups start to gain more definition and strength. Running makes your whole body move, so many muscles and muscle groups will reap the benefits.

There’s also a fat/muscle balance going on too. As your body is gaining more muscle, it’s burning energy and fat at the same time, giving you a nice body make-over. Muscles and a toned body aren’t so bad to look at either, and who doesn’t want to look good after putting in all that hard work?

 

I think something very important to mention here is you need to know you can’t completely rely on solely running to have muscles.

Muscles need to be consistently maintained through some kind of strength training, whether it be bodyweight training or weight training. If you do not do this, you will cause your body to break down and become weaker, not being able to handle all the training in running you’re putting in.

Running MUST HAVE the other piece to the puzzle… strength training.

Say Hi To An Increased Metabolism

A stronger body also equals an increase in your metabolism. The amount of calories your burn goes up. We all know, the more calories you burn, the more unwanted fat you can say good-bye to.

And have you ever felt like you’re just not hungry after a run or workout? That’s something I feel quite often. For a period of time, an increased metabolism can make your appetite go away post-workout. When my body starts to cool off more, I’ll feel my appetite coming back more.

Catching Zzz’s

After getting in a good run, you can rest assured you’re getting in a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t take me long after hitting that pillow to fall into a peaceful sleep.

Some of you may have trouble falling asleep, but isn’t it nice to know that running can help regulate your sleep?

Getting enough zzz’s is one part of having good overall health. The right amount of sleep also ensures more focus and concentration for the other daily things in life we need to do and tackle.

Wrapping It Up

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I hope this has helped you in some form, knowing why you run, the science behind running, or/and knowing all the amazing things you’re doing for your body and life when you make running a part of your daily routine or lifestyle.

Are there any benefits that I may have missed that you know about? By all means, leave it in the comment box for all of us to see and share with. I welcome all emails as well if that suits you better: liana@myrunningstrong.com.

Get Motivated,

Liana

 

Liana

2 Comments

  1. I love your breakdown of how running helps us in different ways. I am glad you pointed out that running is not the best way for us to gain muscle! You have to strength train somehow to get those muscles built up. Running can definitley help us to keep those muscles shaped and defined though. Running hasn’t been my forte that’s for sure. After I suffered a lot of sports injuries and found out my knee caps are unaligned (strange, I know) I really had to limit how much I ran and what terrain I ran on. I lived in Utah and the mountains were great to run uphill but going down hill I wasn’t able to run. Do you have any suggestions for people who have injuries like mine but still want to run or jog?

    • Hi Jessica! Thank you for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment. It sounds like you’ve had a lot of experience with sports, but have had some challenges with your knee caps. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much is the pain when you usually run? Have you also tried to do physical therapy on your knees? I don’t know very much info about your knee caps, but if you still want to keep running, I would make sure you’re running on soft surfaces to minimize the hard impact on your body, and especially your knees. Listen to your body too. Find what mileage works for you before you feel pain coming on so you can still be safe and have a pleasant run. The rule I give myself, if I have a 4 or 5 pain on a scale of 1 to 10, I don’t run. I’ll take the day off or a few, depending on the severity. Cross-training is an option at that point, like biking or swimming if you can do that. I hope this helps. Let me know if you tried any of that and if and how it worked for you.

      All the Best,
      Liana

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