Running is a natural form of movement for humans, and it is sometimes taken for granted. Have you ever wondered what effects running has on our bodies or why sometimes we just feel the need to run? Here are 7 interesting facts about running that you should know.
Humans can start running from as young as 18 months old
It might be difficult to imagine a baby running wild; however, it is possible. Humans are developed enough to start running from the age of 18 months old. However, this isn’t always common as everyone develops at individual paces and it is very much linked to your ability to walk first.
Running is an evolutionary trait
Running is a gift that has been with us for thousands of years, and without the ability to run, we most likely wouldn’t be here today.
Running is a natural trait of humans or any animal that has a predator. Running would have been the most common form of escape, whatever animal you were being chased by. As well as running from things, running is essential for catching food.
80% of running injuries are caused by repetitive stress
Although running has its benefits, too much running can sometimes cause problems.
Over 80% of injuries caused by running are due to repetitive stress. This is when a minor injury develops but isn’t really noticed or doesn’t cause too much pain. Therefore it is easily ignored. Unfortunately, the injury doesn’t have time to recover or heal and gradually worsens.
You use 200 muscles to take your first step into running
There are two main muscle groups that we use when running, which help us to propel forwards. These are the muscles in the hamstrings and the calves. However, we also use other muscle groups around our bodies for balance and momentum. Depending on how muscle groups are categorized, humans use 200 muscles simultaneously to take a single step.
After two hours of running, you might experience the “runner’s high”
The “runner’s high” is the euphoric and uplifting experience some get when exercising. It won’t happen instantly as it requires a large number of endorphins to be released.
Most runners will experience this after around two hours of running. Essentially the prefrontal and limbic regions of the brain pump out endorphins when exercising. When a sudden surge or high volume is produced, we experience a euphoric high.
Running barefoot creates a more natural running style
Running barefoot is better for us as humans because it is more natural. It’s said to create better balance and improve strength. We evolved with the skill of running, and our ancestors wouldn’t have run in shoes. However, some risks come with running barefoot. Due to the lack of protection, you risk puncturing skin by running on something sharp.
Running improves your mental health
When we run, our body releases chemicals known as endorphins. Endorphins release stress and pain when they interact with receptors in the brain. This is great for improving our mental state and can even lead to what is known as the runner’s high.