Skip Nav
Weight gain
5 Ways to Tone Your Tummy
We've Found Your Next Workout
Healthy Eating Tips
A Fitness Editor Shares Her Week of Meals and Workouts

5 Reasons to Start Running

Have you taken up running yet? Well here are five more reasons you still may want to start running from

  1. Running incinerates calories. For a 140-pound woman, an hour of walking at 4 mph burns 420 calories, while running at 5.2 miles an hour ups the burn to more than 750. Increase your speed to 6 mph, and you’ll blitz almost 100 more.
  2. Running tones every muscle in your lower body, including the glutes, quads, calves, and hips. “It especially leans out your glutes,” says Jenny Hadfield, who has signed on as Health’s "Girls on the Move Running Club" coach (find out more about her at Your core and upper body get a decent workout, too.
  3. Running is super-efficient. “To keep you in a healthy cardiovascular range, a 20-minute run on days when you’re time-crunched is more than sufficient,” Hadfield says. “You can run to do an errand or around the park while your child has soccer practice.”
  4. Running requires minimal equipment. No gym membership or extensive gear necessary. Just lace up a pair of shoes, throw on a sports bra (buying tips), and head out the door.
  5. Running helps prevent age-related weight gain. And it may prolong your life. Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California studied 41,582 female runners in 2005 and found that the more a woman ran, regardless of her age, the smaller her waist, hip, and chest circumferences.


Join The Conversation
Chickonspeed Chickonspeed 9 years
@murdock99tx : thanks ! I'll try this method in September ! :-)
murdock99tx murdock99tx 9 years
I just started running in December 2006. NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING, burns off that fat faster than running! Everyone I know or work with, has commented about the dramatic change in my body (less fat; more streamlined, smaller all over) and my mood is far more relaxed & consistent. I haven't even worked all that hard at it! At least, it doesn't _feel_ like I have, and that's because I've built up my endurance little by little instead of going all out & then crashing & burning. I run about 3-4x/week, and VERY slowly and do about 60% running, 40% walking, on my runs. I completely agree w/Syako: you MUST take it GRADUALLY; it's the only way to make it stick. I started out with the following method and have kept up with it ever since - and, I might add, I have NEVER gotten hurt or developed any over-use injuries: 1. walk (brisk pace if possible) for 5-10 minutes to warm up 2. jog slowly, relaxedly, until don't feel can jog anymore 3. walk until back to normal again (have caught my breath & my legs aren't struggling anymore) 4. repeat steps 2 & 3 until time's up. :) Of course, 1/2-way through the time, I turn around & head back home. But I'm still doing 2&3 over & over again until I'm done. I usually run/walk for about 50 minutes each time, but when I don't have a lot of time, 20-30 mins. works just fine. It keeps up the overall momentum for the week. 20 mins. is more than zero! :) I absolutely LOVE how my body feels (and side benefit: looks) now. I highly recommend this for anyone else who, like me, considers themselves a non-athlete. Rock on, ladies! :) - LM
melda melda 9 years
i love running
CT23 CT23 9 years
The calories burned seem way to high. I use a heart rate monitor and an hour of running/walking (keeping the rate between 140-165) never burns more then 500 calories. I'm thinking the heart rate (which calculates calories with weight and age, 138 and 21) is probably more accurate. I just say this so people don't read those numbers and think they can eat way more calories then in reality.
syako syako 9 years
I'm not an expert, but it sounds like you might have been training too much. 5 miles a day for five days a week is a lot for only being a 2 month old runner. Maybe your body wasn't able to withstand that much running that quickly. Perhaps you could try to mix up your training and make sure you take rest days so that your body can recover. (i.e. Do one easy run (very easy), do intervals another day, do a tempo run for about 20 minutes another day (that's going at a pace faster than you're used to) and then do one slow long run another day) Go to because they have great articles about training and injury prevention.
emlod10 emlod10 9 years
i started running at the end of may and built up to running about 5 miles a day for 5 days a week by mid july and then i got really bad pain in my shins (even though i stretched before and after) so now i'm using the recumbent bike. I miss there anyway to be able to help my legs get back to running without further injury?
moonlite moonlite 9 years
I'd love to start running but everytime I do I get shin splints pretty bad, even if I only jog slow for 15 minutes. I think it has something to do with the structure of my foot. It's a shame, I guess I'll just have to stick with walking and exercise DVDs for now.
syako syako 9 years
let me know how it went! :)
Jess8902 Jess8902 9 years
Syako, You've inspired me! I'll be tryin the intervals tonight instead of my normal walk. I kept tellin myself when I got some Shox I'd start running,, well I have the shoes and no more excuses!! Thanks!
syako syako 9 years
Run. You work harder and burn more calories running AND you don't have to be at the gym to do it. Read the comment I said before, go slow and work your way up. It doesn't matter what shape you're in just work at a slow pace until your body catches up with you. I'm not knocking the elliptical, it's just great to be able to lace up your shoes step outside and have a great workout without even setting foot in a gym.
wallaceo wallaceo 9 years
you know, i'd love to try running, but i feel so out of shape and self conscious about it. although i don't mind the elliptical at the gym. is there much difference?
valepere valepere 9 years
That actually sounds like a good idea syako! Whenever I tried running, I ran for a couple of minutes, but then just completely give up and ended up walking the rest of the time... but if I go little by little I guess it shouldn't be so bad... I must try this tomorrow XD
syako syako 9 years
Awesome. Before you know it you'll be signing up for your first race! Good luck.
lady_jade lady_jade 9 years
syako, I couldn't agree more-I'm up to 10 minutes of non-stop running and then I walk for 2 minutes-it was so easy to get to(and I'm out of shape). I feel like wonderwoman when I'm done, so i'm sticking with it. I completely underestimated how it would improve my self esteem and mood.
syako syako 9 years
Don't be discouraged! You guys are probably attempting to do too much too fast. Run SLOW! Very slow. In fact, get on a treadmill and turn it to 5.0 and see what that feels like. That's equal to running a 12 minute mile. That's a great place to start. Hold that pace for about 2 minutes, then walk for three minutes. Keep doing that for about 30-45 minutes. Sooner or later you'll start running 3 minutes, walking 2. Then running 5 minutes walking 1 and then ALL OF A SUDDEN, you'll be running miles! Yay. Don't let bad memories of high school conditioning deter you from this great sport!
valepere valepere 9 years
I walk, but I've always wanted to run... whenever I try, I get discouraged by my bad condition and stop trying :(
Chickonspeed Chickonspeed 9 years
I have bad memories of running back from high-school gym class. Argh. I need to find a nice place to run through, maybe in the town I 'm moving to, where there seems to be a very nice park...I'd really need to motivate myself though :-(
Katiefrog Katiefrog 9 years
I find it causes me a lot of knee pain.
mrbunsrocks mrbunsrocks 9 years
Blah. I hate running. I know I should keep on tryin' but I just hate it. HATE.
CiaoBella2 CiaoBella2 9 years
I've been running for only 1 1/2 yrs and love it. I find it challenging & rewarding.
beleza beleza 9 years
yay I run all the time! :D Actually, I've been slacking off lately, but this article certainly gets me motivated to get off my fat bum and go for a run
LuciLu LuciLu 9 years
im a walker, but wish i could bite the bullet and get into running.
syako syako 9 years
Don't stay away from running just because of that. If running was so harmful then the whole nation of runners wouldn't be obsessed with marathons and iron men races and we'd all be at the gym on the elliptical. You have to be smart and careful - try to run on softer surfaces and allow time for your body, muscles and joints to rest between runs to prevent injuries - but don't shy away from running because there is a chance for injury. There's a chance of injury for everything you do, especially every sport. The benefits of running outweigh the risks!
nikkipez nikkipez 9 years
what about the damage to ones joints? personally i feel that running is the most physically satisfying....but i stay away b/c of all the joint damage it supposedly causes and stick to the low impact elliptical
JustMe21 JustMe21 9 years
I run/jog. I def feel better after doing so.
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds