1. It banishes the belly
You can do as many sit ups as you like, but without some good quality cardio work, like running, you won’t burn fat that hides the muscles beneath and reveal your six-pack. Abdominal fat is dangerous as it ups your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and running can help lower levels of 'stress hormone' cortisol, associated with belly fat. Find out how to burn fat faster here.
2. You burn lots of calories
In one hour, an 11st 1b person will burn 563 calories running at 12-minute mile pace and 1308 at six-minute mile pace!
The more calories you burn, the slimmer you will be. And running is a great calorie-burner. Short on time? Interval training increases the energy demands of the heart and the ventilatory muscles in the lungs according to The University of New Mexico – and therefore burns more calories.
3. It helps curb your appetite
As a rule, those who exercise and diet are actually less hungry than those who only diet, according to a study in the journal Obesity. And in 2008, another study found that eating less and having a low BMI were linked to increased levels of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF. Its main role is promoting the growth and survival of nerve cells, but it’s also related to obesity and metabolism and could suppress appetite.
4. Running with slim people rubs off!
A recent study from Colorado University found that when shown photos of an overweight person, a person of normal weight or a lamp, those exposed to the picture of the overweight individual took, on average, 30 percent more sweets when given a choice of food, than those exposed to the control pictures.
It makes sense to create your own healthy chain reaction and hang out with runners. So what are you waiting for? Push yourself to the front of the start line and immerse yourself in skinniness!
5. Sociable runners stay slim
Despite it being a solitary sport, runners are often members of clubs and sociable types, as our active community here on the Running Bug shows. And this also helps in the battle against the bulge. Researchers from Ohio State University found that social stimulation in mice aids weight loss by converting white fat into brown, the type of fat that burns energy to generate heat. The study found the stimulated mice were slimmer after four weeks even when they ate more.
6. We don't think diet... we think race goal!
Having goals to reach and racing mean that you will be more likely to keep at it than if weight loss is your only goal. If you’re only motivated by the numbers on the scales you’re less likely to stay slim and stick at running than if you’ve got a 5k to complete.
7. Runners buzz with metabolism-boosting energy!
Once you get into running you’ll find you’ve got more energy as the body produces energy-promoting neurotransmitters. Running up stairs, dashing around with the kids, and taking part in other activities (because you can as you’re running yourself fit) will all contribute to keeping you slim for life.
Be careful though, it can bring out the competitive streak in you, if you start racing a paper bag blowing up the street, or race walking from tube to work, you know you’ve got the running bug – and you've got it bad!
To help you improve your fitness, upload your runs to the Running Bug site. As well as being able to track your progress, you'll benefit from the support of the running community.
Thinking of taking up running? Here are some of the benefits of running that you can look forward to!