5 Reasons You Shouldn't Skip Your Next Run

As the weather gets colder, giving up on running becomes easier and easier. Here, then, are five reasons to stick with it you can refer to whenever motivation runs lows

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Unless you’re one of those insufferable Facebook bores who seems to relish doing a marathon every other month, chances are running can still feel like a bit of a chore.

Even though it’s the easiest and cheapest form of exercise there is, all it takes is a cold snap, a delayed journey home or a pint too many the night before to put you off pulling on your trainers and heading out the door.

For those moments of weakness, we’ve put together a simple reminder of five of the most glorious things you’re doing for your mind and body just by putting one foot in front of the other for half an hour. Bookmark it now, and consider it your ready-made motivation when your conviction wavers.

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1 | It will make you happier
By the time you stop and catch your breath, your run will have lowered your stress levels and improved your mood by flooding your body with endocannabinoids, one of our ‘happy hormones’. For all our profound thoughts and deep emotions we are, after all, just a jumble of chemicals clashing into each other, and countless scientific reports have proven running is one of the simplest and most effective ways to tweak the dials in your favour.

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2 | It will make you thinner
Everyone knows running is one of the most efficient ways to burn off the calories you consume during the day. But did you know it works even when you’ve stopped and slumped in front of the TV? High-intensity exercise results in ‘afterburn’ where low-intensity exercise, like a long walk, will not. It also builds muscle which in turn boosts your metabolism, meaning your burn far more calories than you would by dieting alone.

3 | It will make you think more clearly
Only this year, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California discovered that the bodily process that helps run the body efficiently – i.e. what kicks in when you run long distances – is the same process that improves memory and learning. In short: by honing your body’s ability to run you’re also honing its ability to think. Which may explain why great minds, from Enigma code breaker Alan Turing to celebrated novelist Haruki Murakami to Nobel Prize winning scientist Wolfgang Ketterle were all keen runners. Oh, and did we mention Esquire’s own Adam Baidawi

4 | It will make you have better sex
If you think ‘it’ll leave me too knackered to have sex later’ is the perfect excuse to skip a run, think again. Studies show that in addition to lowering stress, one of the key inhibitors to healthy libido, running also boosts testosterone if you do it regularly, meaning you’ll be more in the mood than ever. The best bit? It’s not even age-dependent. Two Harvard studies found an increase in sexual decision after regular exercise occurs in all men, from students up to 60-year-olds.

5 | It will make you live longer
Admittedly, this may not sound like a blessing when your legs are tired and you’ve got a stitch, but most of the time we’d all like to be around a little longer. A quick check list of the wonderful things scientific study after scientific study have proven regular running does for your body: reduces the risk of cancer, make your heart stronger, strengthens your bones, strengthens your joints, improve cardiovascular fitness. All of which adds up to more years you can spend drinking red, eating cheese and watching tele. Just make sure you go for a run, afterwards.

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