Jamaica Gleaner /  

If giving to charity isn’t enough to draw you to 5K races this year, here are five more reasons for you to run.

Sleep better

Exercise improves sleep quality, providing a myriad of mental and physical benefits. A 2011 study published in Mental Health and Physical Activity showed that regular exercise improved sleep quality, thereby reducing tiredness during the day and leg cramps during sleep and improved the ability to concentrate while tired.

Relieve stress

Not only does running improve your physical health, it is also great for mental health. Exercise boosts confidence, increases endorphin production, and goes a long way in managing anger or depression.

Prevent disease

Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases. Numerous studies have shown the effects of running on disease risk – from cancer and diabetes to heart disease and arthritis. In women, for example, regular cardio exercise has been shown to help prevent breast cancer.

Manage weight

Running is one of the most effective ways to lose and manage weight. Training for and taking part in a 5k burns massive amounts of energy – from both carbs and fat. This makes running – coupled with proper nutrition – the perfect weight management tool.

Strengthen bones

Want to reduce your risk of fractures and osteoporosis? Go for a run. Running helps increase bone density.

– Marvin Gordon is a fitness coach; email: [email protected] ; [email protected]


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