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Running is a great way to increase your cardiovascular health while losing weight and improving your mental health.

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How to Do It

  1. Ensure you have the right equipment for running, e.g. comfortable running shoes, breathable athletic clothes.
  2. Stretch or do a warm-up activity (e.g., lunges) for 5 mins before running to ensure your muscles are ready for active exercise.
  3. Pick a safe running route that is suited to your abilities. A reasonable beginners distance is 2-4 miles.
  4. Run at a pace you feel comfortable, you should feel challenged, but not “huffing and puffing” or in pain.
  5. Once finished with your run you should warm down with stretches to ensure your muscles are flexible for your next run.
  6. Make sure to drink lots of water post-run to rehydrate.
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  • Improves mood and mental health
  • Helps to promote weight loss
  • Increases cardiovascular health
  • Helps promote healthy sleeping habits
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Time Commitment

30 minutes+

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Why it works

Many studies have shown that physical activity, such as running, results in positive mental health outcomes, regardless of age or gender. These improvements are even more significant in people with anxiety and depression [1]. These results are most likely to occur due to the exercise-induced enhancement of the major neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters can improve mood, reduce anxiety, and create a “euphoric” feeling [2], [3]. Running also promotes the secretion of endorphins [2], which reduce can lessen the sensation of pain and also create a “euphoric” feeling [4].

On average, a 120-pound person will burn 11.4 calories per minute while running, helping you to reduce your energy intake and lose weight [5].

Studies have shown that running, even for just 5 minutes a day, is associated with a decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease [6]. Vigorous exercise is needed to activate the metabolic pathways responsible for preconditioning and protecting the heart [7].

Research shows that physical activity can reduce the stress hormone cortisol, improving sleep quality, and stress-coping abilities [8].

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Suggested Frequency

3x / week

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Side Effects

  • Sore muscles, particularly in your legs, are a common side effect from running that will dissipate within days and become less frequent as you run more frequently.
  • Sore feet can commonly occur as you get used to running shoes and the extra stress on your feet. If this continues, it may pay to change shoes.
  • You may find your hunger increases as your body adapts to burning extra calories.
  • Dizziness can be common for beginner runners. Make sure to breathe properly while running, rehydrate, and know when to slow down/walk if needed.
  • If you push your limits too hard on a run, vomiting is a possible side effect. To avoid this, make sure not to run on an empty stomach and know your limits and when to slow down.
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Required Equipment

  • Running shoes
  • Breathable exercise clothes
  • Access to a safe run route/treadmill
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Gurus/Celebrities/Doing it

Usain Bolt

Mo Farrah 

Jessie Owens

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Category Health/Productivity/Focus:

  • Health
  • Mood
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Suggested Time of Day

Any time of day would work, but it is advisable to run out of the heat of the midday sun. Early morning is a popular running time for this reason.

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  • If you don’t feel comfortable running outside, then running on a treadmill is a great alternative.
  • It is essential to know when to slow/walk during a run if you feel too challenged.
  • Music is a great motivator to keep you going through your run.
  • It is not advisable to run while ill, be sure to contact your doctor if you have any concerns about your running.
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 Happiness  Confidence  Stress  AntiAging  Sleep  Immunity  Fitness  Energy  Productivity  Focus  Creativity  Sharpness
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