5 Ways Running Can Help You Reach Your Health Goals

We’ve all been there. You swear this is going to be the day you are going to wake up extra early and go on that run. But then something stops you. You remember there is an email you really need to send before work but the truth is that you are probably feeling reluctant to head out for that run. It is very easy to make excuses to get out of working out but if you read the top tips from our experts on why we should slip on our running shoes and hit the ground running you will reach your health goals in no time!

1. Run into more Vitamin D

Heading out for a run is a great way to make the most of the little sunshine we get, and boost our Vitamin D levels the natural way! “Bright daylight entering your eyes triggers serotonin production. Even on an overcast day, natural daylight is much brighter than artificial light indoors. Do what you can to maximise your natural light exposure, such as going for a run outside, to help boost those vitamin D levels,” explains Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com the online shopping destination for health & wellbeing.

“To boost your vitamin D levels even further you can also try a supplement such as, Once A Day Sunshine D (£5.24, qnutrapharma.com),” adds Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns.

2. Challenge yourself

Whether your running shoes have barely been touched, or you’re already a pro, setting yourself a running challenge is a great way to help keep you motivated, and up your overall fitness level. Beat your personal best everyday and keep track of it with Active Mile Daily Track. “Running in a half or even a full marathon, as a long-term target, is a great way to make sure you stay on track with your fitness regime. Most areas offer “park runs” which are usually only about 3 miles. They are a great way to challenge yourself and try to increase your speed each week plus they’re great fun!” says Shona.

3. Feel energised

“To feel refreshed and revitalised do energy forming exercises, such as running in the morning,” explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, www.marilynglenville.com. Although it may seem like a struggle to find the motivation to go for a run when you are feeling sluggish and low on fuel, it helps to release mood-enhancing endorphins.

4. Support your joints

Switching between the treadmill to pounding the pavements can be harsh on our joints, but running allows you to mix up your exercise surfaces. “For example, by running on soft surfaces such as grass it can help to protect your body, whilst making your legs stronger and promoting good bone health. Cross-country running is a great way to get fit without suffering from joint problems. Always make sure you wear good quality running shoes, which offer proper support,” explains Shona.

5. Get toned… For free!

“Running is one of the best ways to tone your lower body because it helps diminish fat, whilst building muscle” says Shona. And another perk it is that it’s free! No gym subscription needed. If you want to shed some pounds, it’s crucial to also be maintaining a healthy diet but running is a great method to help keep the weight off in the long run, by preserving muscle and losing fat.

“Although, if you’re concerned that you’re regularly running and eating healthily but the scales aren’t budging, don’t stress! Even if you appear to be staying the same weight (or in some cases actually gaining a few pounds) muscle tissue is denser than fat tissue, so it takes up less space.” Shona tells us. So, even if you can’t see an improvement on the scales other body measurements will change, such as waist circumference and the shape of your butt!  “Try interval training for quicker fitness levels. It may be harder but it’s over quicker!” says Shona.

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. She studied English Literature at Fairfield University in Connecticut whilst taking evening classes in journalism at MediaBistro in NYC. She then pursued a BA degree in Public Relations at Bournemouth University in the UK. With a background working in the PR industry in Los Angeles, Barcelona and London, Charlotte then moved on to launching Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden and has been running the online magazine for the past 10 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a bit too much effort into her morning brew.