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What I think about when I think about running

As launches its team running club, we look at the wellbeing benefits of this popular pastime.

This month the team at has started a new club - a running club for weekly 5k lunchtime sessions. It's very relaxed - team members can walk, jog, run - either way it's a dedicated time when we're encouraged to get out of the office, stretch our legs and enjoy the fresh air together. It's one of many wellbeing activities that we encourage in the workplace, and it's an activity that an incalculable number of people enjoy every day around the world. So, what is it about running that so many people love, and that's so good for you?

Why do so many people love running?

For lots of people, running is a very personal thing - it's a chance to get outside in the fresh air, exercise, boost adrenaline and fitness. For most runners it's not just about getting in a good workout - it's about mental health as well. Running is an intense exercise, and the process can be good for untying those mental knots, getting an endorphin boost or working out a few of life's frustrations.

If you're a runner who likes to go outside, then there are additional wellbeing benefits to getting into the fresh air and sunlight (even if it seems to be hidden behind the clouds.

The health benefits of running

The health benefits of running are widely reported, especially for those of us who have largely sedentary jobs, which have been linked to a variety of health issues.

The top line benefits of running include:

  • Helps to build strong bones, as it is a weight bearing exercise
  • Strengthen muscles
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness
  • Burn plenty of calories
  • Help maintain a healthy weight

In addition, the NHS highlights that running helps to:

  • Improve heart health
  • Improve lung health
  • Increase joint strength and stability
  • Reduce your risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress

For many of us, when we talk about running we're also including jogging - the difference essentially being the pace that we're going at and therefore the intensity of the workout. In our experience, start where you feel comfortable and gradually build things up.

Top tips for new runners

Running can be a great hobby as well as a wonderful form of exercise - it's no accident that many people who get into it become totally devoted to it. However, it's also an intense form of exercise, even if you don't think you're going very far or fast. Running has an impact on your joints and it also gives you a cardio workout - it's important to start slowly, check with your GP if you have any health conditions, look after yourself and listen to your body.

  • Avoid running near roads if you can - the surface can be hard and there can be a lot of pollution
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Don't overdo it - have at least two days between rungs to begin with
  • Stretch properly before and afterwards
  • Build up your pace and your distance - it's quite literally a marathon, not a sprint
  • Get a good pair of trainers, and for women, a good sports bra
  • If you have any health conditions, speak to your GP before starting
  • Support your body and wider wellbeing
  • If you can, get regular massages to support muscle recovery
Discover our treatment guide to deep tissue massage

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