Running is one the most basic human movements. That is like a second nature to every person right after walking. Whether you inadvertently run to catch that last train or bus to the office, or whether you do it purposely for health benefits; running is no doubt beneficial to the heart.
To help shed more light on the matter, we shall be looking at exactly what running does for that little pumping machine upon which our life force hinges:
Strengthens the heart
Regular running constantly trains your heart and adapts it to the increased cardiovascular activities. As a result, your heart develops a stronger muscle. This, in turn, reduces your regular heartbeat at rest to about 50 beats per minute. At this below average rate, the heart only needs to exert little effort to meet blood circulation obligations. In the long run, it ensures greater longevity.
More nutrients for the heart
The body’s blood circulation is increased during running as the muscles need more and more oxygen to burn stored calories in order to replenish the lost energy. But before oxygenated nutritious blood goes to any part of the body, it must first pass through the heart. This means that your heart is always the first in line for nutrients and oxygen. Think of it like a shrewd cook who tastes the food before he serves it to anyone else and keeps the best parts for himself. Regular running ensures your heart constantly benefits from the surge of oxygen and nutrients.
Reduced risk of heart failure
According to multiple studies, people who regularly run are less susceptible to heart attack than their ordinary counterparts who don't run as much. One recent study, conducted about a year ago, showed that regular running reduces the risk of heart failure by up to 45%.
As the heart is always in a state of constant operation, it needs more mitochondria than ordinary skeletal muscles. About 35% of the heart is composed of these cells. Running increases this percentage considerably as it is a catalyst for mitochondria biogenesis. This translates into a decrease in the risk of chronic heart disease and heart failure.
So how much running is considered enough?
Well, according to recent research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the general rule of thumb is no less than 30 minutes of running distributed alternating throughout the seven days of the week.
In a nutshell, running is your best bet at improving overall body health. But remember, no matter how fast you run, you can never outpace an unhealthy diet. So couple running with healthy eating and you are bound to notice a remarkable improvement in your health.