Running builds strong legs.
Strong sculpted legs, a slimmer waist and an endorphin rush are just some of the benefits you'll get when you lace up your shoes and head out for a run. Though jogging can increase your appetite, managing your diet can quell post-workout cravings.
Muscle development, weight loss and improved bone health are among the physical benefits of jogging. Your lower body muscles - the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves - work to propel you forward and keep you stabilized; resulting in a toned butt and legs. Running is also an effective way to burn fat. Moving at the pace of 6 mph for 30 minutes can burn 300 calories for someone weighing 125 pounds, 372 calories for a person who weighs 155 pounds and 444 calories for a 185-pound person, according to Harvard Health Publications.
Running can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. The release of endorphins combined with the physical exertion - and the satisfying feeling of accomplishment after a long jog - can result in a better mood and feelings of happiness. Regular exercise, including running, also aids in stress relief, which can help you to sleep better and increase your energy during the day.
Even if your appetite doesn't change much right after your jog, chances are the hunger pangs will hit later in the day. Physical exertion and burning calories often triggers a hormonal response that energy needs to be replaced and so, hunger ensues. The key to avoiding a grumbling stomach is to eat small 150- to 300-calorie snacks and meals throughout the day. Choose healthy snacks that consist of lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. Avoid starving your body before your workout, which can backfire and cause you to burn out quickly. Staying hydrated can also help with hunger since dehydration can increase your appetite; drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
Tricks of the Trade
Mixing your runs up and including different aspects in your sessions, such as endurance runs, sprints, intervals and hills, can help to keep both your muscles and your mind challenged. Planning a proper amount of recovery time between runs is imperative for maximizing the benefits of your sessions. The exact amount of rest will depend on your fitness level and the intensity of your training session. Advanced runners may run almost every day but beginners should allow for two non-consecutive days of rest per week. Cross-training with activities like swimming or cycling one to two days per week can help to prevent overuse injuries, which often accompany repetitive-motion activities. Consult with a physician before starting a new jogging program.