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7 Surprising Benefits of Running

7 Surprising Benefits of Running

Running has always been described as a foolproof recipe for losing weight and shaping up, and while that still holds true, there’s so much more to it than keeping your calorie count in check. From a longer lifespan to a happier brain, below are some of the most amazing – and often overlooked – ways that hitting the pavement on a regular basis can drastically change your life for the better.

1. Running Can Fight Depression

Science has a good explanation for that surge of happiness you experience after an especially grueling gym session. Heart-pumping exercise like running releases endorphins, the brain’s ultimate feel-good chemicals. The sense of wellness, calm and confidence they create can linger long after your body is back to base for a mental pick-me-up that lasts all day.

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2. Relieve Stress

It may be more closely tied to emotions, but stress is very much a threat to the physical health. When left unchecked, it can lead to insomnia, muscle tension, heart disease, high blood pressure, premature aging and fatigue. Along with being a natural antidepressant, cardiovascular exercise like running is a proven stress buster. Just a short jog around the block can melt tension and give your mind a much-needed chance to unwind.

3. Protect Your Joints

The age-old belief that running every day or for long distances is a one-way ticket to irreversible joint problems like arthritis is a little bit of a myth. Although inactivity used to be the prescription for joint disease in the past, doctors today have completely reversed course after regular exercise was shown to improve the strength, flexibility and adaptability of joint cartilage. The key to making running work for your joints and not against them is to avoid unnecessary strain by always maintaining proper form, increasing muscle mass and giving even small injuries time to heal.

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4. Live a Longer, Healthier Life

Recent research shows that clocking as few as six miles a week is enough to give your lifespan a three-to-six year extension, but it’s not just about the raw numbers. Proven perks like a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and dementia mean that runners enjoy an overall higher-quality of life at any age.

5. Improve Your Balance With Running

It’s no secret that running is a killer workout for your legs, but did you know that it’s also an effective full-body stabilizer? Staying in continuous motion also works your shoulders, arms and especially your core, which automatically helps train your body to maintain flawless posture and balance when you return back to your normal pace.

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6. Unlock Your Full Potential

The psychological benefits of running are just as valuable as the physical ones. While an increase in endorphins acts as an instant mood boost behind the scenes, the feeling of accomplishment that running creates serves as powerful inspiration for going after other meaningful goals at home and in your professional life.

7. Meditate on the Go

From enhancing concentration to curbing overthinking to fine-tuning the connection with your inner self, the ancient art of meditation can make a big impact on how you feel, but not everyone has time for consistent practice. By forcing you to stay focused while still leaving your subconscious mind plenty of room to relax and free roam, running delivers many of the same benefits as meditation without adding to your to-do list.

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With modern life moving at lightning speed, making your well-being a priority has never been more important. Running regularly grounds you back in the present moment and revitalizes your body from head to toe – the perfect formula for a healthier, happier and stronger you every step of the way.

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Jesse Boskoff

Co-Founder and COO at Status Labs

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Published on May 3, 2019

8 Wonderful Weight Loss Tracker Apps: Achieve Your Fitness Goals Fast

8 Wonderful Weight Loss Tracker Apps: Achieve Your Fitness Goals Fast

Are you frustrated by why on earth you can’t lose any weight? Have you ever wondered if you don’t actually know how many calories you eat in a day?

How much exercise do you ACTUALLY get? Why does nothing seem to be working!?

If any of those questions sound familiar, then read on. Because I am about to show you some of the best tools you can use to pull yourself out of that rut!

If you can relate, I’ve been there too. In fact, if it helps your situation at all, I think most of us have at some point or another. Most people feel like, at some point or another, they reach a plateau. It’s that exasperating place that seems to keep us from moving forward (or is moving us slowly).

How can we break past this point? How can we start to see results and have the momentum to keep moving forward? The answer is simple:

To have a game-plan and know exactly what is going on inside your body.

Let me put it this way, in your business, do you go into work figuring you’ll find something to do once you get there? Probably not. You know exactly what needs to get done and you have a game-plan (a task sheet or to-do-list) to get you there. You might even have a few different “games” you play with yourself to make your work more enjoyable or listen to a motivational speaker to make sure your morale is up.

The same goes for fitness. If you really want to excel at your fitness goal, then you need to have a game-plan for success. You need to know what will keep you motivated, how to simplify things, how to be more efficient at your goals, and even find what you enjoy the most.

If you’re blindly trying to chase your goals, then you probably feel about as hopeless as a carpenter with a butter-knife. So, it’s time to stock your toolbelt for success!

I am about to show you the top fitness apps that will be game-changers for you. From nutrition trackers to step counters, these apps are sure to set you on the fast track to your fitness goals.

Keep reading to find the apps which might just shoot you past your plateau and into the lifestyle you dream of.

1. MyFitnessPal

    When it comes to favorite fitness apps, this one takes the cake (The Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan cake that is).

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    MyFitnessPal is the best all around calorie counter that I have found on the market. This app is free, and has almost all the calorie counting resources available to you. Not only does it seamlessly estimate the daily calories needed to hit your goal, but it also gives you the methods to track it.

    Just enter the ingredients into each meal and it will add up how many calories you eat. Indulged in a burrito? No problem! Just scan the barcode and it will enter that in for you.

    Going a step beyond that, this app also tracks your macros (according to your own customized goals) and nutrients.

    While that all seems impressive enough, this app also tracks exercise calories and can sync to Fitbit, MapmyRun, and other apps to measure your exact energy ratio.

    If you want a one-stop map to success then this is it! This will not only help you develop a gameplan, but will also create a flexible plan to get you there.

    Get MyFitness Pal here!

    2. Fitbit

      I know you’ve already heard about this app before, and for good reason. Fitbit has been helping thousands step their way to health since it first came out.

      While investing in a Fitbit may not be cheap, I believe it to be well worth the investment.

      Fitbit will track your total amounts of steps each day. For those of you who are competitive, this is the perfect app to keep you moving throughout the day.

      This app can also sync with other fitness apps, like MyFitnessPal, to measure your exact energy expenditure each day. It’s a keeper for sure.

      Get Fitbit here!

      3. MapMyRun

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        This is another one for the competitive, beginner, or exercise enthusiast alike. MapMyRun measures the distance that you run and even tracks your route. And, you can sync your daily results with MyFitnessPal to keep track of your daily calorie burn.

        If you want to go at it with a friend, you can challenge them in competitions that are sure to keep you both moving!

        Once, my boyfriend (Now Husband) ran for 2 miles just before midnight to beat me in a competition that was ending the next day. Talk about motivation!

        MapMyRun is perfect for those who like to challenge themselves, love to be apart of a fitness community, or want a place for friends to hold them accountable to their goals.

        Get MapMyRun here!

        4. Zombies, Run!

          Are you having trouble pulling away from entertainment to go out and run? Then why not combine the two?

          ZombieRun is a fun app that is sure to get you moving if you are someone who is motivated by a good time. In fact, you might even have such a blast you will forget that you are exercising!

          This app takes you through a story-line makes you the hero. Each level will present a new challenge to help you progress and keep things exciting.

          And don’t even worry about your pre-workout. Imagining you are the hero in the story will be enough to keep your adrenaline pumping on it’s own.

          Just be sure not to move too slow or the “Zombs” (As we runners affectionately call them) might catch you!

          Get ZombiesRun here!

          5. Prepear

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            Are you tired of sitting down for hours and trying to strategize what to eat? This app helps cut this time in a quarter.

            Simply add online recipes into your weekly meal plan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and it will organize all the ingredients you will need into a shopping list.

            With all your meal planning in one organized area, it will be easy to find which meal you plan to make for the day. This will keep your healthy recipes delicious. You will seriously never have to fret about meal planning again!

            Bye Bye paper shopping lists! And Bye-Bye fast food! You won’t be needing that anymore!

            Get Prepear here!

            6. Strava

              If walking is your health resolution, this one might be for you!

              Strava was actually sent to me by one of my clients for me to track his daily walking. This app is sure to get you into healthy habits that you enjoy. In fact, you might start losing weight before realizing that you’ve even been exercising.

              This app enables you to track your trails and mileage, take pictures, and invite friends to join. It is a keeper for beginners and hikers alike.

              Get Strava here!

              7. Aaptiv

                If you find yourself at the gym and not sure what to do, then this app might be for you.

                Aptive gives you workouts to do and instructs you how to do them.

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                While there’s nothing quite like the accountability of a personal trainer, Aptive is a great way to be guided through exercises without having to dish out tons of money.

                The online instructors will guide you through the movements and keep you focused on finishing the workout. This app is sure to make you a gym rat in no time!

                Get Aaptiv here!

                8. Freeletics

                  Here’s one for those of you always on the move! Freeletics is an incredible app designed for people who just don’t have the time (or motivation) to drive down to the gym.

                  Freeletics provides online workouts designed specifically from bodyweight. No equipment is needed!

                  You will be surprised at what a great workout you can get without any equipment.

                  That’s right, you work-travellers — Say goodbye to your excuses because this app is bringing the trainer to you!

                  Get Freeletics here!

                  The Bottom Line

                  These 8 apps are sure to revolutionize your fitness goals. Guesswork will no longer be a part of your fitness journey. These apps are like carrying professionals around in your pocket all day!

                  Get ready to be motivated, informed, and ready to start achieving your dreams! Good luck on your fitness journey!

                  Featured photo credit: Marion Michele via unsplash.com

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