Running: The Cure for all Diseases?


Some enthusiastic people boldly state that running can cure numerous diseases. Reading excited feedbacks from people who joined the global community of runners and defeated an illnesses by merely jogging 5-10 minutes a day provokes pleasant surprise. However, being misled by this agitation is not an option. Running is definitely good for health, but it should not be treated as a panacea.

It is not wise to try to persuade a physician to treat his patient with physical exercise only because somebody claimed to be cured this way. Only when a fully reviewed and documented case report is published, then it may be possible to say such a thing. In addition, if life was that easy, humanity would never need drugs and hospitals.

If a person wants to improve his health, he should remember that jogging is not only about moving legs. It also involves breath and spine control; therefore, people should follow the guidelines of a proper running style. Probably, being busy about material and spiritual values, people forgot that their body also needs a lot of attention.

Healthy people should be considered as a norm, and the best way not to departure from the norm is to follow a healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity allows avoiding negative deviations from the norm. Scientists have various opinions on how running influences disease resistance and cure rate; nevertheless, few of the theories are generally supported by the scientific community.

A healthy cardiovascular system is believed to empower resistance to physical and psychological stress. Moreover, accomplishing a set amount of physical exercise activates a reward mechanism in the brain and promotes the release of endorphins, the happiness hormone. This means that doing sports is good for fighting psychological stress, which is famous for its ability to slow down rehabilitation from a disease.

Running improves self-control and endurance. A sick individual can develop the position of an active person, ready to fight the disease. While medicine intake develops a more passive attitude to an illness treatment, since a person has to wait for the required effect.

A placebo effect could also take place, because people often blame themselves for their poor health, and they can give a list of negative habits which caused the current consequences.When one starts following a healthy lifestyle, his inner persuasions tell organism that the state of health could be improved from now on. When people notice positive outward changes, such as weight loss and sore muscles, the brain gets more evidence of the impact sport has on the body; as a consequence, it becomes even more aimed at a quick recovery.

The cardiovascular system benefits from jogging because during aerobic exercise most of the capillaries are involved, the heart becomes stronger and people, who run regularly, have a lower resting heart rate, which contributes towards the longer life of the heart muscle. Running enhances power of will and self-belief and makes a person proud of oneself. Though, improvements that people experience are quite individual and different people experience different changes.

As mentioned before, there is some uncertainty about disease-curing abilities of running, but there is no doubt that it improves health. Regular exercise causes a better blood supply to the brain, which results in better thinking abilities. People who run are apt to feel relieved and calm, with ideas and solutions for many issues coming easier. The general picture is optimistic and it is worth spending 5-10 minutes running outside, enjoying fresh air and the view of the nature.

Opinion by Yevgeniya Migranova



Harvard University’s DASH repository

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