A research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that, running everyday for at least five to ten minutes can significantly reduce your risk of death from cardiovascular disease and all other causes.1
Running, whether in females or their male counterparts, possess numerous health benefits. In fact, research has shown that running everyday for just 5-10 minutes can significantly reduce your risk of dying from all causes, including cardiovascular disease, which is the number one cause of death in the United States.1,2
Previously, women used to live a sedentary lifestyle, with all the running and fun activities being left for the men alone. But not anymore! Today, women’s running is more popular than ever before, with more and more women jumping on the runner’s world bandwagon to gain a never-ending list of health benefits, from helping to lose weight and toning legs and thighs, to improved sleep, stronger bones, reduced risk of heart disease, and healthier skin.
If you’ve been wondering about the benefits of running for women and how to make it a regular part of your weekly routine, then read on! Below are some benefits of high-intensity anaerobic running for women.
Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
We’ve already seen that cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States among men and women — with one person dying every 34 seconds from heart disease.2 Having seen these scary statistics, anything that distances you from this unfortunate condition should be given utmost priority.
Thankfully, research has shown that running can significantly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease — with a run of just 5 minutes daily having the potential to reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack by 45%.3
Running is particularly helpful in reducing the risk of these kind of conditions because it can help lower the body’s resting blood pressure, and improve the levels of HDL (beneficial) cholesterol in the body, which in turn lowers the amounts of harmful cholesterol in the blood.4,5 Well, if you are a health freak like me, you should probably be aware that cholesterol buildup in the arteries can make them narrow, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Running helps boost the circulation of blood to our skin, which means increased oxygen and nutrient supply for our skin cells, which equals healthy skin! No wonder, women often get a kind of “skin glow” immediately after running. Running also helps reduce the levels of stress hormone in the body, whose presence in high amounts has been linked to conditions of the skin like psoriasis.6
Firmer Thighs and Butt
Running can help tone the muscles of your thighs and butt. Of course, every woman loves to have them firm, just like those of celebrities. But hey! They didn’t get them out of divine intervention. If you are a close follower of the likes of Beyonce, you must have been seeing her hit the asphalt on a regular basis. It is probably the secret!
Reduced Stress and Depression
Research has found that running can help reduce the amounts of stress hormones like cortisol in your body. Also, the body’s natural pain reliever and mood elevator, endorphins, may be stimulated by activities like running.7 In general, regular running can help reduce your stress levels and improve your mental health, allowing you live an overall happier life.
Aids Weight Loss
A lot of women have been running regularly for this benefit alone. Running can help you maintain a healthy weight, and thus, the body of your dreams. When you run for just a mile, you can burn anywhere between 80-140 calories. If you want to lose a pound of flesh, science has shown that you need to burn at least 3,500 calories more than you consume.8,9
Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones, is more common among women. This is because of the hormonal changes that occur at menopause, which tend to affect bone density. Fortunately, running may help strengthen the bones and prevent osteoporosis. Research done in pre- and post-menopausal women in the UK Biobank, suggests that just a 1 minute bout of intense weight-bearing exercise may help with better bone health in women.10
Reduced Risk of Cancer
Research-based findings have shown that physical activity of anywhere from moderate to vigorous intensity, like running or othe aerobic training, may protect against colon and breast cancer, and all other type of cancers.11 There’s evidence that women who engage in regular physical activity had a 12–21% lowered risk of breast cancer than those who were least physically active.12
There’s evidence that physical activities like running could help you sleep better, as they stimulate the release of dopamine and serotonin, which can improve one’s mood. If you are not aware, serotonin is a hormone that helps control our sleep-wake cycle — with low levels in the body associated to conditions like insomnia and depression.13
Other Benefits of Running
There are many other benefits women could derive from running regularly. Some include:
Improved sexual health, which may be due to increased hormonal release, body confidence, or elevated mood.
May help to slow down the aging process while simultaneously boosting your immune system.
May also improve the strength of your joints, especially the knee joint.
After reading about the numerous benefits listed above, you must be eager to start running right away and join the world of female runners. Whether you are in the pre or post-menopausal stage, you might want to grab your running shoes and hit the asphalt for some fresh air and quick health benefits that might positively change your life forever.