Running helps improve your health in multiple ways. Running at least three time a week for 12 to 20 minutes increases bone mass, and it helps strengthen the knees and joints. Running on a regular basis also helps burn fat, and continues to do so, even after you have finished exercising.
Another benefit of running at least a total of 75 minutes per week, is reducing the risks for cardiovascular disease. Runners are less likely to get certain forms of cancers and tend to live longer, too. In addition, running can improve mental health. Further, runners are happier, compared to non-runners, and tend to suffer less from mental decline as they get older.
Given these health benefits, it is no wonder that Americans love running. Every year there are 15,000 5k running events held in the United States. In 2014, 541,000 people completed marathons, including the 50,266 people who completed the New York Marathon. Additionally, Relay for Life raises approximately $407.5 million every year.
With so many people running, it really is no surprise jogging shoe sales average 45.1 million pairs of shoes each year. In 2014, alone, runners spent $1.1 billion on shoes and related running apparel.
Along with the right shoes and apparel, maintaining the correct running stance helps increase the health benefits gained by running, while reducing the risks for injuries. Runners should try to:
- Keep their back straight and avoid leaning too far forward.
- Keep their elbows bent at 90 degrees or less.
- Keep their hands relaxed and resting at their midline.
- Maintain a short and quick stride.
- Make sure their foot lands on the ground under the knee, not in front of it.
- Strengthen their core to make it easier to stay upright longer.
It is best to introduce these changes into your running routine gradually to avoid straining yourself.