Fad exercises may come and go, but one exercise that has stood the test of time and always will, is jogging. We were made to jog. There’s nothing more natural than hitting the treadmill or the open road and going for a nice run. Jogging for exercise dates back thousands of years and has several benefits.
Let’s take a look at the 5 health benefits of jogging.
- Improved Cardiovascular Fitness
This is perhaps the biggest overarching benefit of jogging. Cardiovascular fitness refers to the efficiency of the heart, lungs and the vascular system. All of these components work to carry oxygen to the muscles. When you jog, your body’s lung capacity increases resulting in your ability to take in more oxygen per breath. The bottom line is that improved cardiovascular fitness means your body works more efficiently and reduces risks of serious health problems.
- Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, known as hypertension, means that the pressure of the blood pushing against your veins can become too much and cause an aneurysm or hemorrhage. Hypertension also leads to the blood being restricted in your veins which can lead to a heart attack and even heart disease. One of the main ways to fight hypertension is through jogging. Over time, jogging causes high blood pressure to lower and the heart to become healthier.
- Increased “Good” Cholesterol
Jogging causes your body to create more high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) cholesterol that can sweep through the body and clean away from the LDL cholesterol. HDL regulates overall cholesterol levels in the body because it actually scrapes the bad cholesterol from blood vessels and brings it to the liver where it can be discarded. If there is not enough good HDL cholesterol, blood vessels become hardened with plaque caused by bad LDL cholesterol. The result is restricted blood vessels that may result in a heart attack or heart disease.
- Improved Endurance
The more jogging you do, the more efficiently your body uses oxygen, and the more it can endure. In scientific terms – your body uses oxygen more efficiently. That means you can work out harder and go about your daily activities without as much effort. Going up and down stairs becomes easier as does bringing in heavy bags of groceries. You’ll also be able to keep up with the kids. So not only will you be able to run more on the treadmill, you’ll be able to go through life a lot easier.
- Improved Mental Fitness
Running is lauded for its physical benefits, but it also helps to increase mental health in multiple ways. Jogging can help you transform your body by shedding those extra pounds. We all know that when you look your best, you feel your best. Jogging also helps to release stress built up throughout the day caused by stressful work environments, bills, kids, and school – the everyday pressures of life. Lastly, jogging causes the body to release endorphins, which causes a sense of happiness and well being.