Simply put, overall physical fitness and aerobic exercise are the benefits of running, and with these come myriad healthy improvements in one's emotional, mental and physical fitness. By giving one's heart a workout, running improves the entire body's blood and oxygen flow. The physical activity we experience while running contributes to burnt calories and weight loss, boosts our immune systems and lowers our body's cholesterol level, while serving as a stress reliever to rid our minds of toxic emotions. Along with these improvements in general health and fitness comes increased levels of energy and self-esteem we can carry with us throughout our daily lives.
The many physiological health benefits of running are attributable to the fact that running is one of the most vigorous aerobic exercises available to our bodies. We condition our heart and lungs, pushing them to work more efficiently and powerfully, reducing our risk of a heart attack.
We activate and strengthen our immune system to better protect us against disease and harmful toxins that can cause us to fall ill and keep us at our maximum potential. We increase our stamina and endurance for greater longevity in our activities by breaking through the barriers we previously perceived as limitations. And we build muscle, develop and expand our body's metabolic rate, shed calories and pounds to lose weight in combination with a healthy balanced diet.
There are also psychological and emotional benefits of running . Science historically has shown that attention to physical fitness lowers stress and depressive thoughts while increasing the average level of general optimism, creativity and mental energy. Running focuses the mind on overcoming the trials, pitfalls and obstacles of our days, and meeting the physical challenges of our running workouts provides a sense of accomplishment and pride in our achievement. Our self-esteem and self-confidence is improved knowing our bodies are in shape and we can transcend life's struggles through the hard work and dedication of a focused mind.
Accompanying these are the benefits to our social experience and society as a whole to which our running exercise contributes. Charitable fundraising is especially prominent in today's running events such as the numerous marathons and accompanying 5K and 10K races that go on in communities around the globe. Running is a sport best experienced outdoors, where we can explore our surroundings in a way that is oftentimes overlooked when we are driving or otherwise encompassed in our daily movement. And when we practice with a partner we are helping one another to stay focused and interested in meeting the challenges of the exercise regimen. Together we learn to improve ourselves, offering one another advice, sharing in the celebrations of our achievement while deepening friendships and discovering our own sense of belonging in our community.
Taken together, these improvements in our physical, mental and emotional health help to define what is meant when we say that fitness and exercise are the benefits of running.