What is running good for?

Imagine an activity that not only transforms your body, but also your state of mind and improves your overall quality of life. This activity is not an expensive hobby or a time-consuming skill; it's as simple as running. Often underestimated in its simplicity, running is actually a powerful catalyst for positive change. Let's dive into the many ways running can enrich your life, from the obvious physical benefits to the more subtle, but equally significant, mental and social gains.

Running is not just a form of exercise; it is a journey towards better health, increased self-esteem and a deeper community with those around us. Whether you're a seasoned marathoner or a beginner just lacing up your running shoes, the benefits of running are universal and within reach.

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The incredible physical benefits of running

Running is more than just a way to get from A to B. It is a comprehensive form of exercise that brings a number of physical benefits. In this blog we will dive into how running can transform your body and your health.

Improved cardiovascular health

Running is an excellent way to strengthen your heart. When you run, your heart's pumping function increases, which improves blood circulation throughout the body. This can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease. Regular running also lowers your blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels, further supporting a healthy heart.

Weight loss and metabolism

Running is one of the most effective ways to burn calories. It revs up your metabolism, meaning you'll continue to burn calories even after you've finished running. This happens through a process known as EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption), where the body consumes more oxygen and energy after intense exercise.

Muscle building and strengthening

While running is primarily known for its impact on cardiovascular health, it also plays a key role in building and strengthening muscle. Running especially strengthens the leg muscles, hips and core muscles. This muscle building is essential to improve your running performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Examples of exercises and running programs

To achieve these benefits, here are some exercises and running programs you can incorporate into your routine:

  • Interval training : Alternating between high intensity and low intensity. This is effective in improving both endurance and speed.
  • Long-distance running : Improves cardiovascular health and endurance. Start slowly and gradually increase the distance.
  • Hill runs : Run uphill to strengthen leg muscles and improve heart health.
  • Tempo Run : Run at a constant but challenging speed. This improves both your aerobic and anaerobic systems.

Remember that rest and recovery are also important aspects of running training. This ensures that your body has time to recover and build strength.

Through running you can achieve an improved physical shape, increased energy and a generally better state of health.

The mental and emotional benefits of running

Running is often thought of as a physical activity, but its impact on our mental and emotional well-being is just as significant. Let's explore how regular running can be a powerful ally in the fight for mental health and emotional balance.

Stress reduction and mental clarity

In a busy and often stressful everyday life, running can be an effective way to reduce stress. When you run, your body releases endorphins, known as 'happy hormones', which naturally reduce stress and anxiety. Furthermore, running provides an opportunity to 'disconnect' from the worries of everyday life, leading to increased mental clarity and focus. Running can be a meditative practice where you reconnect with yourself and find inner peace.

Increased self-esteem and confidence

Running also has a remarkable ability to improve self-esteem and confidence. When runners achieve new goals, whether it's distance, speed, or simply maintaining a regular routine, a sense of accomplishment and pride follows. Personal accounts show how running has helped many overcome personal challenges and build a stronger sense of self-worth.

Integrate running into your daily routine

  • Set realistic goals : Start with small, achievable goals to build a positive running experience.
  • Run in the morning : Start your day with a run to set a positive tone and boost your energy.
  • Run in nature : Change your surroundings by running in parks or on trails, which can increase your sense of connection and calm.
  • Listen to music or podcasts : This can make running more enjoyable and relaxing.
  • Join running groups : Being part of a community can increase motivation and create a sense of belonging.

Running is not only a way to exercise the body – it is also a journey towards mental and emotional well-being. When you run, it's not just your legs that propel you forward – it's your mind and spirit too.

Getting Started in Running: Your Guide to a Flying Start

Are you curious about taking up running but not sure how to go about it? Running can seem overwhelming at first, but with the right guidelines and motivation, it can quickly become an enriching part of your life. This guide will help you take the first steps.

Beginner's Guide to Running

Start slow: Start with walking and slowly transition to running. You can start by running in short intervals and gradually increase the duration.

Choose the right shoes: Invest in a good pair of running shoes that suit your foot type and running style.

Warm-up is key : Always start with a warm-up to prepare your muscles and prevent injury. Light jogging, dynamic stretching exercises or walking can be effective.

Create a basic exercise plan : Start by running two to three times a week. Make sure you have rest days in between to allow your body to recover.

Watch your form : Pay attention to your running form - keep your back straight and land on the middle of your foot.

Set realistic goals

  • Start small : Set small, achievable goals, such as running for 5 minutes without a break or completing a 5 km distance.
  • Celebrate your victories : Remember to celebrate when you achieve your goals, it helps to maintain motivation.
  • Adjust goals according to progress: As you become more experienced, adjust your goals to reflect your progress and ambitions.

Simple running program for beginners: Run 10 km

Week 1-2:

Monday : Rest day

Tuesday : 20 minute walk

Wednesday : Rest day

Thursday : 20 minute walk

Friday : Rest day

Saturday : 25 minute walk

Sunday : Rest day

Week 3-4:

Monday : Rest day

Tuesday : 5 minute walk, 5 minute run, 5 minute walk

Wednesday : Rest day

Thursday : 5 minute walk, 8 minute run, 5 minute walk

Friday : Rest day

Saturday : 5 minute walk, 10 minute run, 5 minute walk

Sunday : Rest day

Week 5-6:

Monday : Rest day

Tuesday : 5 minute walk, 12 minute run, 5 minute walk

Wednesday : Rest day

Thursday : 5 minute walk, 15 minute run, 5 minute walk

Friday : Rest day

Saturday : 5 minute walk, 20 minute run, 5 minute walk

Sunday : Rest day

Week 7-8:

Monday : Rest day

Tuesday : 25 minute run

Wednesday : Rest day

Thursday : 30 minute run

Friday : Rest day

Saturday : 35 minute run

Sunday : Rest day

Week 9-10:

Monday : Rest day

Tuesday : 40 minute run

Wednesday : Rest day

Thursday : 45 minute run

Friday : Rest day

Saturday : 50 minute run

Sunday : Rest day

During the final weeks, try to get closer to 10km, depending on your pace. It is important to remember that everyone is different, so this program can be adjusted according to individual needs and abilities. It is also a good idea to consult an exercise expert or a doctor before starting a new exercise program. Remember to hydrate well and eat a balanced diet to support your training.

Taking up running can be a journey that transforms not only your physical form, but also your mental and emotional well-being. With the right tools and a positive attitude, you can achieve amazing things through running.

Find your joy of running and achieve incredible benefits

We explored the many aspects of running, from the physical and mental benefits to the practical steps to getting started. Running is not just a form of exercise; it is a way of life, a source of joy and a path to personal growth.

Remember that your running journey is unique. Whether you run for health, to clear your mind, or to achieve personal goals, every mile is a step towards a healthier and happier you. We hope the advice and stories we've shared will inspire you to lace up your running shoes and experience the countless benefits of running.

Don't let doubt or fear hold you back. Start at your own pace, set realistic goals and remember to enjoy the journey. With each run, you open the door to new experiences, friendships, and not least an improved version of yourself.

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