*Note: We’ll use running, jogging, and walking interchangeably. The difference between these three is the intensity. Do what you can handle, and you’ll see the benefits. A walk is as good as a run if that’s what your body can take.*

Planning a daily jog or run is one of the best gifts to give yourself. Even a 20-minute walk a day has long-lasting effects that can add up to add up to seven years to your life. But that’s not all exercise can do for you.

In fact, a daily jog can help promote physical, mental and emotional health. Taking the time to run each day may seem like a major commitment at the onset, but it’s one that quickly pays dividends.

Keeping Young While on the Run

The physical benefits of jogging range from the obvious to the surprising. Obviously running burns more calories, helping you lose more weight. What you may not realize is that being active can lessen your risk of several types of cancer.

In other words, jogging allows you to walk as easily as twentysomethings.

A 2014 study also had some interesting findings. Seniors who ran three times a week experienced significantly less age-related physical decline. In other words, jogging allows you to walk as easily as twentysomethings.

Not only does running keep you younger, it prolongs your life. In a 21-year study, researchers found that runners simply live longer. They also have a lower chance of encountering disability later in life.

Train Your Brain All the Same

The physical benefits of jogging are not shocking, but you may not realize the benefits that jogs can have for you, mentally.

Studies show that running can lead to new cell growth. This is especially true in the memory centers of the brain. That’s right, running can help boost your memory! There’s also significant evidence that exercise can protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

Getting your jog in may actually improve your mental power!

Regular exercise doesn’t only protect and restore. Getting your jog in may improve your mental power! Jogging or running in short bursts improves spatial learning and memory. This is because mild-intensity exercises promote BDNF, which aids decision-making and critical thinking.

Keep That Smile for Another Mile

Physical and mental health would be nothing without emotional health. Exercise is a great way to fight stress, depression, and anxiety. This isn’t the case for the avid runner, either. The casual mall-walker can enjoy the emotional benefits of exercising.

The casual mall-walker can enjoy the emotional benefits of exercising.

It can be as simple as enjoying a change of scenery and time to yourself. A nice walk represents that time to unwind. It represents time to relax and smell the flowers. Getting some fresh air and relaxing is a key emotional benefit of even the most lenient exercise.

More than anything, adding a daily jog is a commitment to being happier and healthier. In fact, there’s no time like the present to get started! Grab your jogging shoes, and get started on a fitter you today!

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Further Reading

Harvard Health Publications — Running for health: Even a little bit is good, but a little more is probably better
National Council for Aging Care — Exercising for Life
SilverSneakers by Tivity Health — Running for seniors: Why you should try jogging