Health Benefits Of Running

Health Benefits Of Running | Capitol Physical Therapy | Washington DC Physical Therapists

Are you looking to be more physically active?

Have you thought about taking up running regularly?

Or have you been running for a while now and are looking for running injuries treatment and prevention?

If you’re interested in running in any capacity, you might also be interested in the health benefits of running.

Running is scientifically proven to help keep your mind and body healthy.

A 2014 study by Lee et al. concludes that even 5 or 10 minutes of running a day can reduce your risk of experiencing heart disease and death.

At Capitol Physical Therapy, we know that everyone can reap the health benefits of running, no matter your fitness level or experience.

Even as a beginner, running more regularly can lead to great health benefits for your overall health.

Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of running.

Health Benefits Of Running

The health benefits of running are well documented.

They include everything from building muscle strength to making friends.

Running also inspires other healthy habits and gives your whole body a much needed workout.

It’s even been proven to reduce stress and anxiety and can keep your heart in good health.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the specific benefits that running provides.

1. It’s Good For Your Heart

There are so many studies that show how running improves the health of your heart.

You don’t even need to be a hardcore runner to experience the health benefits of running.

A 2015 review by Lavie et al. found that runners who went out once or twice per week, for a total of six miles or less, reaped as many heart health benefits as those who ran marathons.

Your heart is the strongest muscle in your body, and just like your leg muscles, it builds strength as you run.

A stronger heart can pump more blood out with every beat, which increases the efficiency and resilience of your cardiovascular system.

This can help reduce your risk of stroke and other heart issues.

RELATED: How Can Physical Therapy Help You Recover From A Stroke?

2. It Relieves Stress And Anxiety

Running is often recommended for those looking to practice mindfulness, and for good reason.

A 2020 review by Oswald et al. looked at a whopping 116 different studies on the link between mental health and running.

The study found strong evidence that suggests running is an effective way to help address many mental health challenges, such as anxiety, stress, and depression.

Running is a great way to clear your head and take your focus off the stress of your daily life.

Running outside in a natural environment can also help pull you out of an internal state where you’re experiencing a lot of stress.

According to the American Psychological Association, our mental health greatly improves when we spend enough time outdoors.

A change of scene can do wonders for the mind and combining it with a run is a great way to help improve your overall health while enjoying some exercise outdoors.

3. It Strengthens Your Musculoskeletal System

Unsurprisingly, running strengthens your muscles, especially muscles like the quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutei in the lower half of your body.

Upper body and core muscles play a role in running efficiency too.

But did you know that running can also improve your bone and ligament health?

Your tendons, ligaments, and bones also adapt to the demands of running by building resilience.

As you age, bone strength is particularly important because hormone changes can cause a decline in bone density.

RELATED: Can Physical Therapy Help With Menopause?

Lower bone density increases your risk of osteopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures.

However, running helps increase your peak bone density, lowering your risk for these health problems, and reducing your need for physical therapy for orthopedic health.

4. It Can Help You Build A Sense Of Community

Running through the paths and trails in your neighborhood often helps people feel grounded and connected to their surroundings.

When you’re running, you have the chance to see your local area change with the seasons and meet your neighbors and community members who are out and about.

If you get into a routine, you start to see the same people and forge some connections.

If you want to meet new people, you can join a local running club.

Meeting like minded people who are interested in running is a great way to discover new routes and stay motivated to run.

5. It Can Inspire Other Healthy Habits

When you commit to a running schedule, you’ll start forming other healthy habits as well.

Since you’re already keeping up with one healthy habit, others are easier to form.

Once you’re running regularly, you might look more closely at your other routines.

If you like to get up early and go for your run, you might end up going to bed earlier and getting better sleep, for example.

RELATED: Sleep Tips For Your Sleeping Position

And if you want to wake up with enough energy to start your day with a run, you might decide to eat a balanced diet more frequently.

How Running Strengthens Your Musculoskeletal System | Capitol Physical Therapy | Washington DC Physical Therapists

How Do You Prepare For Running?

It might seem like the simplest, most natural activity in the world.

It’s not like other athletics, such as cycling where you need equipment and a special area set up to do it, right?

You just walk, except faster, right?

Not quite.

It’s a good idea to visit your local running or athletics store as they can help you choose the right pair of shoes for your needs, as well as visibility equipment to keep you safe if you run at night.

As well, running injuries are incredibly common.

In addition to the fact that running in certain areas at certain times can be dangerous, you can also injure yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing.

RELATED: Physical Therapy Injury Consultations

That’s where we can help.

Our physical therapy clinic offers sports injury prevention services to help.

It may not seem like it, but running can be particularly hard on your body.

That’s because your feet repeatedly hitting the ground can send shockwaves through the rest of your body.

This can cause new injuries as well as aggravate existing ones, including:

We’ll consider your health history, as well as your current state of physical health.

From there, we’ll put together a plan to help you avoid injuring yourself.

That plan may include physical therapy treatments for gait training, vestibular therapy to correct balance issues and prevent falling injuries, and even ergonomics.

Book Your Appointment With Capitol Physical Therapy Today

Are you ready to run out of the door right now, but want to know more about how to keep yourself safe and not overdo it?

Or do you want to hear even more about the health benefits of running?

No matter whether you’re a veteran marathon runner or a casual jogger, Capitol Physical Therapy can help.

Book your appointment with Capitol Physical Therapy today to discuss your health goals and hear how running can help you achieve them.

Capitol Physical Therapy
1331 H St NW #200,
Washington, DC 20005


9560 Pennsylvania Ave. # 202,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772


Capitol Physical Therapy offers orthopedic and other pain related solutions, with our versitile team of physical therapists in Washington, DC