Grenade athlete running through park

Start the New Year on the right foot by adding running into your routine. Great for cardiovascular fitness, stress relief, fat loss and more, this versatile activity isn’t just for the Usain Bolt’s amongst us. Whether you’re a gentle jogger or a high-intensity sprinter, here’s six reasons we think you should dust off your running shoes and get back on the road in the New Year.

1) It’ll improve your heart health

You’ve been pacing it for a good 20 minutes and your heart is now pounding a lot faster than your feet are. Yes, it may feel like you’re about to faint but, trust us, your ticker will thank you later! A ‘tempo’ run, otherwise known as running at a ‘comfortably hard’ pace, will up your VO2 max. This is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise. The higher it is, the fitter you are and the healthier your heart is. But remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! If you’re new to running, gradually increase the pace and distance of your runs over time.

2) It's practical

Running appeals to many of us because of how practical it is. Gym closed? Head out on a run instead. Short on time? Squeeze in a quick sprint. You can run almost anywhere, whether it’s in your local park or around your area. If you’re lucky enough to live within a few miles of your place of work, you could even swap your daily commute for a morning run. Or why not make the most of your lunch break and head out on an afternoon jog? Running is so easy to fit into your routine, which means no excuses – yes, we’re talking to you, New Year resolution quitters!

3) It relieves stress

Now, we all know the positive impact exercise has on stress – not in the loop? Read our post on how exercise can relieve stress for the deets. Running is no exception to this rule. Not only does it release those feel good endorphins, but it’s also a great time for you to zone out for a while and spend some well deserved ‘me-time’ away from life’s everyday stresses.

Grenade athlete on running track

4) It can be social, too!

Running on your own can be great, but have you ever considered recruiting a running buddy or joining a group? As with many sports and activities, running can be a great social opportunity. From mud runs and charity marathons, there are thousands of events you can get involved in, opening up the chance to meet new people with a shared interest. If solo sweating isn’t for you but you’re not quite ready for your first event, rope in a friend to run with. Just try not to let your discussion on last weekend’s antics slow you down!

5) It's a great way to lose fat

As with any cardio activity, running is excellent for fat loss. If you’re hoping to shed a few pounds, while also upping your cardiovascular health, running is a great option. Remember to push yourself for maximum effect. Yes, a gentle jog is effective but if it’s fat loss you’re after, you’ll need to raise your game (and your heart rate) to see the results.

6) It's free!

Forget costly gym memberships and class fees! Running is one of the few exercises you can do without spending a penny – perfect for January when payday seems as if it’ll never arrive. Running outside is a great way to appreciate your surroundings too. Yes, you could run on the treadmill in the gym but why not get outside and take in the local sights?!

Grenade athlete running

Will you be taking up running in the New Year? If you’re feeling less motivated than usual, visit our blog to read our 7 tips to smash your workouts, a post that’s guaranteed to spur you on.