The top 10 benefits of running

As we look forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of Virtual Runner this autumn we’re bringing you a series of 10 ‘Top 10’ blogs to mark the occasion.

In our second blog in our 10 themed series, we go back to basics and explore the top 10 benefits of running.

It’s a great reminder for those of you who are regularly clocking up the miles – and maybe the extra bit of persuasion you need if you’re yet to lace up those trainers…


1)    It’s good for your heart

Running is a fantastic cardiovascular workout. It strengthens your heart, improves circulation and boosts your overall cardiovascular health. Regular running reduces the risk of heart disease and helps maintain a healthy blood pressure.


2)    It’s good for your brain

Running isn’t just good for your body, it’s great for your mind too. The rhythmic motion and fresh air stimulate your brain, leading to improved focus, reduced stress, and a boost to your mood thanks to the extra dopamine.


3)    It can help you lose weight

If shedding a few pounds is on your agenda, running can be a key part of reaching that goal. It’s a calorie-burning powerhouse that aids weight management, making it easier to reach and maintain a healthy weight.


4)    It strengthens your muscles and bones

Running engages various muscle groups, helping you build strength and endurance. It’s also a weight-bearing exercise, which contributes to stronger bones and a reduced risk of osteoporosis.


5)    It improves lung capacity

With every run your lung capacity improves, enhancing the way your body processes oxygen. This increased lung function can start to make everyday activities feel easier as your body becomes more efficient.


6)    You can make great friends

Yes, it’s technically a solo sport, but running can open the doors to meeting all sorts of new people. Joining running clubs or participating in group events can lead to lasting friendships. Online communities, like the Virtual Runner Facebook group, can also prove to be a vital source of support.



7)    It helps you sleep better

Regular physical activity, like running, has been shown to improve sleep quality. Your body gets the rest it deserves, leaving you refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

8)    Improved immunity

Engaging in moderate exercise like running can strengthen your immune system. It reduces inflammation and helps your body fend off illnesses more effectively.


9)     It’s a confidence booster

Setting and achieving running goals, whether it’s completing your first 5K or conquering a challenging trail, boosts your confidence and sense of accomplishment, which can then translate into a can-do attitude in other areas of life.


10)  It’s free

One of the best things about running is it doesn’t need to cost you anything – other than a supportive pair of trainers. No expensive gym memberships or personal trainers needed, just step outside your front door and go!


Every step counts

At Virtual Runner we’ve always been clear that running is about so much more than just clocking miles. The initiative was founded to help people of all abilities enjoy the sport in their own individual way, without the need to travel to formal events.
We want as many people as possible to be able to share the joy of running, and we celebrate the mental health benefits as much as the physical.

You can hear our community members’ stories in our Facebook group or, if you’re feeling inspired to tackle your first virtual race, click here to see what’s available.