When it comes to running your fastest and hardest, you are probably an avid, dedicated athlete who wants nothing but to improve in the sport. Not a day goes by without you going out for a run or at least a light jog, just so you can keep your body active and so forth.
With that said, you train a lot, but in the back of your mind, you are wondering just a few things when it comes to running a lot. For instance, the burning question that is currently on your mind is whether running makes you lose muscle. Might be a strange question to consider, but all the same, you are curious as to whether it is true or not.
Considering that question in mind, we are here to help! Read on to learn more in this article to answer the question: does running make you lose muscle? We will be taking that question, along with other frequently-asked ones to give you an extensive look into this related topic. From there, you can learn to adapt your running style to get you into better shape than ever before.
Without further ado, let’s get right down to it!
Of course, you probably know that running can get you into excellent shape, but just how does it work? Besides giving you that lean look, here are some other reasons as to why running can be a beneficial sport for you:
Probably the most important thing that running can do for you is make your heart and lungs stronger. It does so through aerobic exercise, i.e. endurance training, which forces your heart to pump faster and stronger in order to transfer blood to the lungs for breathing and to the legs for moving forward. As a result, your rest state gets enhanced, so even when you are not running, you are still reaping the benefits from when you are actually exercising.
Going off on the first point, having an improved cardiovascular health due to running helps prevent diseases from happening. Some include type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and so forth. That said, getting up and moving from time to time does not hurt at all, and in fact, it can even be a life-saver for you!
Especially if you are feeling down, running can help you pick your feet back up—literally and figuratively—offering a mental remedy while also a physical one.
You might also feel afterwards a sense of lightness, even happiness, of which we attribute to as the “runner’s high” Essentially, it is an influx of endorphins, or a type of hormone which flood your body after a strenuous workout, as it aims to regular your body temperature and mentality back to normal, thereby leaving you in a relaxed state. Lots of athletes strive for a runner’s high every time they hit the pavement, for it is a natural drug which can make you feel good and confident about yourself.
Particularly if you tend to run with others, running can be a great opportunity to make friends and socialize during and after runs. If you have the tendency to be rather shy and nervous around others, joining a running group can help make you more comfortable with people, and all the while get into excellent physical shape!
Many people tend to believe the running makes them lose muscle, but in fact, the appearance of a runner is attributed to the fact that they develop what is known as “lean muscle,” thereby giving that slim look.
Lean muscle is still muscle, for not all muscle is necessarily big and bulky. Some people might find it attractive whereas others might not, but in the end, running does not make you lose muscle- rather, it helps you gain a specific type of it, hence the lean muscle.
Read more: What Muscles Does Running Work?
Granted, you might like your lean, toned look associated with running, but perhaps you are interested in developing more definition in your body, so that you do not look so thin and scrawny to others. That said, we propose several workouts you can do:
This refers to varied patterns of running workouts, as means of spicing up the usual activities you tend to do on your own. There is circuit training, which involves both running and core-strengthening (e.g. push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, etc.) and there is what is known as fartlek, aka “speed play” in which one alternates between sprinting and slow jogs for a certain period of time.
That said, pushing yourself to complete different challenges in workouts can over time build resistance, and as a result enhance your muscles.
The obvious way to increase muscle mass is go weight training, i.e. perform lots of resistance exercises that involve, of course, weights and heavy machinery. There are machines which work out just about every part of your body, from the arms to the legs to the core and the back. It is a matter of figuring out if you want to do squats, bench presses, or hamstring curls to get that muscle you desire.
You might be surprised to find this on the list, but yoga certainly has benefits in terms of keeping your mind calm while also your body firm. If anything, it teaches you to become patient through the different resistant moves you perform, and over time you might find yourself a calmer and stronger person, both physically and mentally.
Overall, running does not make you lose muscle, but rather helps you develop a certain type of it: lean muscle. By continuing to train and push yourself, you will start to see the desirable results and in the end be happy with yourself.
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