21 Benefits of Running

Posted by Mary Chestolowski on September 21, 2018

Running can transform your mind, body and spirit.

While everyone knows that running is a great way to get in shape, many may not be aware of the numerous other benefits that come with running. Scientists have shown that running can improve your quality of life and help you live longer! Let’s take a look at some of the amazing benefits of running:

  1. Running is cheap and simple. All you need is a good pair of shoes. Then just head out the door and put one foot in front of the other.
  1. Running improves your health. Running can regulate your blood pressure and improve insulin sensitivity. It keeps your cholesterol levels in check, increases your lung function, and boosts your immune system. It can also help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and a host of other medical conditions.
  1. Running can lower your risk of some cancers including colon, prostate, lung and breast cancer.
  1. Running increases bone mass and even helps prevent age related bone loss.
  1. Running helps you to lose or maintain a healthy weight. Running is one of the most efficient ways to burn extra calories, second only to cross country skiing. You will even continue to burn extra calories for hours after running.
  1. Running helps you sleep. Running will improve the quality of your sleep and help you fall asleep more quickly.
  1. Running will boost your energy levels and help you stay focused. Fatigue will no longer be a constant part of your day.
  1. Running strengthens your legs. And, contrary to popular belief, science has actually shown that running strengthens your knees and joints.
  1. Running strengthens your core muscles which are responsible for supporting your stomach and spine. This makes it easier to maintain a healthy, upright posture.
  1. Running will help you make healthier choices. Running can help you curb bad habits or addictions like smoking, excessive drinking or recreational drugs. It can also help you to make healthier food selections.
  1. Running relieves stress. Running increases the brain’s serotonin levels which make you feel more relaxed and improves your mood. Running also reduces your chances of tension headaches.
  1. Running has the power to help fight depression. Researchers have concluded that physical activity such as running is an effective alternative to some antidepressants.
  1. Running boosts your confidence. Running can make you feel more in control of your life and body. It can improve your body image. By setting and achieving goals, you will have a greater sense of empowerment and higher self-esteem.
  1. Running makes you happier. Running triggers the production of endocannabinoids that make you happier and more focused. It can elevate your mood like recreational drugs because it stimulates the same pleasure and reward receptors.
  1. Running helps you to see the world. Traveling to a new area? You can discover new places, find your way around, and enjoy the beauty of our natural surroundings by going for a run.
  1. Running gives you “me” time. Sometimes we all just need to get away from everything and everyone.
  1. Running can be a social outlet. Looking to improve your social life? Join a running club or class or head out with a running partner or two.
  1. Running will keep you sharper, even as you age. Evidence has shown that regular exercise such as running helps to defeat age-related mental decline. It improves memory, attention, concentration, planning and organization.
  1. Running can help you look younger. This is because regular physical exercise slows down biological aging.
  1. Running can help you live longer. Longevity is not just because of running, but because of the healthy lifestyle habits and changes you make as a result of running.
  1. Your running can inspire others to exercise.

Fifteen years ago, I was inspired to sign up for a race by a neighbor. That inspiration helped me to find a talent and passion that I never knew I had. Nearly 100 races later, I am grateful to that neighbor and others who have supported and inspired me in my running career.

Now, I want to inspire you! I am excited to have started a running program at the RAC. Our next 9 week running program starts the week of September 24th and the goal is to prepare you to run or walk the Turkey Trot 5k Race on Thanksgiving! This class is for beginning to intermediate runners, or those wanting to start a walking program. Click here to learn more about the class and how it can help you to gain access to the many benefits of regular running or walking!

If you are a more advanced runner and looking to improve performance, I am able to help with that as well. Please contact me at  mchestolowski@racmn.com.

Testimonials from recent 5k prep classes:

“The Couch to 5K class taught by Mary Chestolowski at the RAC was a wonderful class. I had been injured, and away from running for over a year. It was a great way to start over with lots of support from both Mary and the others in the class. Mary is dedicated to helping you reach your goals and to fall in love with running in the process! She has plans for every level of runner from someone who just wants to walk the entire 5k, to someone who is an Intermediate runner and wants to increase their speed. After the first class, I was able to run an entire 5k without any walk breaks, which was my goal for that class. I signed up to take the class again the next round, at a more advanced level. I would highly recommend the class to anyone who is a beginner, or who just wants to start again with encouragement and accountability. Well worth the money.

“I have never run before and I did it! I ran a whole entire 5K. I started out wanting to add some consistent cardio to my life and now I am taking the class again so I can keep running. I never would of been able to do the program without a coach. Mary helped me over the obstacles that you do not get in an app.“

“I have always wanted to be a runner, but would be the first person to say out loud that I hated running. Over the last two decades, I have tried to like running. I would start to run and after a few weeks of running 2 miles, I would stop and think to myself....yep, I hate running! Mary has transformed me into a runner! She was an amazing teacher and incredibly motivating. Her plan for the Couch to 5K class was set up for a person to succeed. She used time verses distance for our run goals, and ran along with us to keep us going even when we might have wanted to stop running. The combination of her personal training skills and running knowledge makes her the perfect mentor for a new runner. I am still running months after the class and loving it.”






Mary Chestolowski

Mary Chestolowski

Along with being an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, Mary is also an RRCA Certified Running Coach. She is also known locally for running road races and has won the Med-City Marathon twice. Mary is a mother of four busy children ages 9-21 and enjoys spending time with them and attending their activities. She also enjoys traveling, interior decorating, baking and planting flowers.

Contact Mary Chestolowski at (507) 287-9335 ext. 346.

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