It’s an older article, but every time I think about why I run, I am reminded of it. Running has been shown to increase longevity – significantly! The study in the article I linked to mentions that running can cut down the risk of premature death by 50%. That is crazy! Running also boosts BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor) in the body, which is very important to keeping our nerve cells alive, and stimulating new nerve growth.
Because of its nerve boosting ability, I suspect that running plays an important role in keeping men feeling (quite literally since the nervous system is involved) young. It is based only on my anecdotal experience, but I find that most of the runner’s I know seem to act a lot younger than non-runners. When I was running the Warrior Dash (and even the Tough Mudder) I was amazed how many 50, 60, and even 70 year olds I saw. My first thought was how most of the teens I know wouldn’t last a minute on these courses, yet here are people supposedly “past their prime” rocking the course.
So, next time I am doubting whether I want to take the time to get on all that thermal wear and run on a cold February day, I will remember that I am increasing my lifespan…so I can live through even more dreary February days!