I've been running for a few years now and can totally understand why some people don't like it at the start. Running is one of those exercises where you need to exercise a lot of patience in order to get better. Initially, for me at least, I wouldn't know the right way to run and would puff out almost instantly.

Once I started running more regularly in order to improve my overall health and mental state, I figured out better ways to run. One of the best tips for starting out is that you run only as fast as you can hold a conversation, no matter how slow it is. Once you do this, every week you can increase your mileage until you're able to run for longer periods of time.

Once you have that down pat, then you can start working on your speed. During every run, at least once a week, go a bit "harder" than normal, and use this in order to build your overall cardiovascular system.

Running is an endurance sport and it takes time to get better, but once you get the hang of it - it’s very addicting.

In order to raise more awareness about running, and how it can improve our health and mood I've listed a few ways running actually improves your health and wellbeing.

5 Ways Running Improves Your Health & Wellbeing

1. Weight loss

It's no surprise that weight loss is at the top of the list. Once you start running regularly, your body will be using a lot more energy. Sooner or later, it will start burning fat and if you've combined running together with a good and balanced diet, you're sure to see the weight shred away.

2. Improves your cardiovascular endurance

Remember those days when you're walking to work and have to climb a flight of stairs at the subway, or to the building block? Do you recall how you run out of breath once you reach the top and it takes a while to be able to speak again? This is because of poor cardiovascular endurance. The more you train and work your heart like a muscle, the stronger it'll get and this will benefit your oxygen intake.

This is a process called Vo2 Max. Vo2 Max for running is basically a measurement of the amount of oxygen that you take in and put to you use when you run.

3. Improves your mental health

There are a few reasons why running improves your mental health, from the fact that running boosts your confidence to the endorphins that you feel after a good run. Endorphins are the "feel-good" chemical that you experience after strenuous exercise, it's called the natural high or some people like to call it the runner's high. Depends on your sport I guess.

4. Helps you set and crush goals

An often overlooked fact is that we need to set some goals in our life. Without goals, we usually are stuck in limbo and are just phasing through each passing day. When you set goals, and crush them, consistently striving to be better, you gain more confidence in yourself.

For example, when just starting out your goal might be to do 5 miles that entire week. Whether you do them all in one day, or throughout the week is up to you.

Running allows us to create simple goals which are both beneficial for our fitness and for our ability to complete these goals as well. One thing that happened for me was that I was able to build up a lot of confidence running.

Not only this but I was crushing my weekly running goals which seemed to translate to me crushing my life goals as well. It's funny how the brain thinks that they're both the same even though they're so different.

5. Stress Relief

I guess this one could sit with mental health, but I wanted to iterate on this point as much as possible. Running simply clears stress. Every time I have too much going on at work or I had a big day with the family I would go for a run.

Being out in the open space, releasing endorphins, and getting oxygen after a day confined in an office does wonder for your stress levels. This in turn helps me be the person I want to be when I'm at home, and not lashing out at random things because I'm stressed out.


Running is a great way to kickstart your health, especially if you have been sedentary for a while now. All beginners need is the right running shoes to do the job and the willingness to keep going. After a few weeks of running, you will reap both the mental and physical benefits, with your body thanking you for it.

Author's Bio: 

Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.