Why You Should Keep Running as a Part of Your Life: Part One

Running has been one of the most crucial parts of the evolutionary process of our species.

Ancestrally, running and its associated physiological reactions, was one of the few means available to capturing prey for survival. Fast forward to today and it is still one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective ways to exercise, possessing a host of health benefits.

It’s amazing for your body, brain and soul – so much so, it’s hard to just summarise a list of reasons into one says Accredited Exercise Scientist and Director of Science of Fitness, Kieran Maguire.

Over the next few weeks I will discussing in detail my five reasons as to why you should keep running as a part of your life.

Our intention is to give you more of an understanding of the benefits of running and more importantly how you can get the most of it.

We will be diving into the reason people typically get injured as well the simple ways you can avoid such injuries that occur from the sport.



1. Longitudinal health benefits

The top two causes of mortality in the modern world according to WHO (2019) are associated with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. A common cause of such diseases is lifestyle related with sedentary living being one of the more common issues.

Surprisingly, the solution for mitigating such a risk factor doesn’t require much, getting a daily dose of physical activity appears to do a lot. In the modern world, it is easy to find a reason to justify why you can’t/should not/don’t get your dose of physical activity.

Well, we’re hoping to help you find reasons why you can and should get your dose of physical activity – through one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective mediums out there, running.

We’ll give you a quick glance at the evidence of running and its effect on mortality.

Kieran Maguire & Joseph Agresta, Science of Fitness 

The Research:

This 2014 Study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found “runners had 30% and 45% lower adjusted risks of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, respectively, with a 3-year life expectancy benefit.” It concludes that even 5 to 10min a day of slow running is associated with markedly reduced risk of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease.

More significantly, the British Journal of Sports Medicine published a systematic review and meta-analysis titled “Is running associated with a lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and is the more the better?”. ‘

A pooled sample size of 232, 149 participants gave the statistics of a significant amount of credibility. The data showed that regular running, no matter what dose or speed, is associated with around 30% decreased risk of cardiovascular and cancer related mortality when compared to non-runners.

More interestingly, no evidence suggested that mortality benefits increase with greater amounts of running.

Not only does running improve your chances of living longer but it is a great tool for improving your quality of life. Exercise in general is one of the best tools we can use for improving quality of life and is widely published, this article being one of our favourites.

So if staying alive and living well is something that you are hoping to keep an eye out over the next few weeks, we will give you the tools to make the most of such an accessible, easy to do and enjoyable activity.

It’s time to make running great again.


Consult an exercise professional, such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist prior to starting a training program, or if you are experiencing any pains whilst exercising.

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We have partnered with Nike Australia Pty Ltd for this article series.

The views expressed in this article, unless otherwise cited, are exclusively those of the author, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA). ESSA is a professional organisation committed to establishing, promoting and defending the career paths of tertiary trained exercise and sports science practitioners.

Nike had no role in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of data or research or the writing of this article.

Written by Kieran Maguire AES, Director of Science of Fitness