In 1948, the World Health Organisation defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”. We are lucky that in this day and age, we can consider health in this broader context of overall well-being. I believe that running can be a great partner in your health. Running is health.
A little while ago I wrote my manifesto and it was all about improving the nation’s health. I challenged you to find 3 non-running friends and convince them to start Couch to 5km, so that they were runners by the end of the summer. Did you find someone? If they are struggling with motivation, remind them that running is health, and here’s why:
Running has great physical health benefits – keeps your cardiovascular system strong and healthy, improves your metabolism, and helps stave off chronic disease.
Running is great for your mental health. Whether you have a specifically diagnosed condition, or just want to stay on the level, running can help you process things when it all becomes overwhelming, and the endorphins that running releases is a big plus for your mental health.
Whilst you don’t ever have to run with other people, running creates some of the strongest communities. I’ve tended to find that people who commit themselves to a regular habit, tend to be great people to be around, as they are willing to continue working to improve themselves, but also conscious about the physical and mental benefits they get from running. And of course, organisations like parkrun and Goodgym do a great amount to improve your sense of social well being.
Whilst running doesn’t prevent every single known disease, it is known that runners, are less susceptible to illnesses such as the common cold. And, if you are ever struck by a more serious disease, the chances are you will be more able to fight it and/or cope with treatment, because of the strength and fitness that running gives you.
Since running is such a great partner for your health, it’s your duty to share it with others, so make sure you do! And, as always, any questions, post in the comments below.
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Angela Isherwood is the founder of I Run Success
She is a REPs Level 3 Personal Trainer, a Run England Running coach, and a multiple marathon runner. She is a London Marathon Good for Age runner, a Boston Marathon Qualifier, a parkrun Run Director and Trainer for Goodgym Colchester.