6 reasons why running is fabulous

From burning lots of calories to giving you extra energy, here are six reasons why running can change your life, improve your health and transform your fitness...

6 reasons why running is fabulous

1.   Running 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. Start running now and reap the rewards for a lifetime.

2.   Running burns 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. 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, so after your run you can eat more cake

3.   Running curbs your appetite

If you're aiming to lose weight and improve your fitness, as a rule those who exercise and follow a healthy diet are actually less likely to binge eat than those who simply diet, according to a study in the journal Obesity. And in 2008, another study found that eating less and having a healthy 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.

4.   Sociable runners stay fit

Despite it being a solitary sport, runners are often members of clubs and tend to be sociable types, as our active community here on the Running Bug shows. 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 trimmer after four weeks even when they ate more. So if weight loss is your goal, find a friend and support each other and you'll be more likely to succeed!

5.   We don't think diet... we think race goal!

Having goals to reach and racing means that you will be more likely to keep running than if weight loss is your only goal. If you’re only motivated by the numbers on the scales you’re less likely to stick at running than if you’ve got a 5K to complete.

For 5 great reasons to focus on your goals and NOT stress about weight loss, click here

6.   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 fabulous and fit for life.

Be careful though, it can bring out your competitive streak. If you find yourself 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!

Thinking of taking up running? Here are some of the benefits of running that you can look forward to!

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