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General Medical Corner

Health benefits of regular running

The best results – physically and mentally – come from continuous training. The important thing is to determine the dose that’s right for you.

Author:

Colin Glattfelder, MSc Sports Science, Prevention Consultant, Sports Masseur, Personal Trainer, Medbase Checkup Center Zurich.

 

 

Your body benefits in several ways from regular running. It increases your endurance and improves heart health, helps you manage your weight, strengthens bones and muscles, and enhances sleep. A continuous exercise routine will give you the best results in the long-term.

Besides the effect on the body, regular running is also good for the psyche. It helps reduce stress and has several benefits for your brain: running increases blood flow and oxygen supply to the thinking organ, which in turn increases concentration and mental abilities. Many runners report that they can think more clearly after a run and that their memory has improved.

Good for your mood

In addition, regular running has a positive effect on mood. Running releases endorphins, which are known as natural “happy hormones.” This can make you feel more relaxed and happy after running. Many runners are surprised at how much their state of mind improves when they run regularly.

The important thing is to find the right “dose” for you. It varies from person to person and depends on various factors such as your fitness level, your state of health and your personal goals. By gradually increasing your training, you avoid overload and reduce the risk of injury. This also applies after a break in training.

Finding the right dose

The principle of progression is a good approach. This means that you start slowly with moderate volumes and intensities and gradually increase them over time. In the beginning, it’s best to follow a training plan or the recommendations of an experienced running coach. Performance diagnostics can show you where you are at, allowing you to create a training plan that is appropriate for your particular training level and will help you progress performance-wise.

If you temporarily stop training, the effects of regular running will slowly fade. This varies from person to person and depends on several factors, such as the duration of the break, your fitness level beforehand, and individual genetic makeup.

Better posture

Some of the positive effects of running training, such as improved endurance, muscle strength, cardiovascular health and metabolic processes, may diminish within a few weeks or months after a training break.

Other effects of regular running, on the other hand, may even be maintained over the longer term, even with a training break. These include, for example, better posture, enhanced overall fitness, and an increased sense of well-being. These effects can help you get back into running training sooner.

Tips

  • Increase your running training slowly and give yourself enough time to recover. Balancing load and recovery reduces the risk of injury and allows for long-term performance improvement.
  • Good running technique will help you minimize the risk of injury and improve running efficiency. Upright posture, efficient arm movement and appropriate stride length are important aspects. You can train your running technique through specific running school exercises (for example, as a “warm-up” before the actual run).
  • Equip yourself properly. Choose running shoes that support your individual running style and sufficiently absorb shocks. Functional running clothes and possibly additional equipment such as a heart rate monitor or GPS tracker can make running more comfortable and effective.
  • Eat right and stay hydrated: Before and after running, it is important to provide your body with sufficient nutrients and fluids. A balanced diet with enough carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats supports your performance and recovery.
  • Find the right balance: In addition to running, it is important to train your core stability or to prevent overloading through complementary sports. Pay attention to your body reactions: If you feel exhausted and overworked after a workout, it may be necessary to adjust your training and take more rest breaks. Also be aware of warning signs such as pain, fatigue, or a decrease in performance. Then, if necessary, adjust your training or seek a medical opinion.

Who is Medbase?

Medbase is the largest multidisciplinary sports medicine network in Switzerland and provides specialised sports medicine services for athletes, clubs and sports federations of all activity levels in the areas of sports medicine, sports physiotherapy, performance diagnostics and training advice.

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