How Does Running Affect Your Body?

Running is a good exercise that helps with improving your cardiovascular health, losing calories, and boosting mood. Most people know of the general benefits they can get from running. However, do you know what changes happen to your body when you run? In today’s blog post, Inspired Endurance will take a look at how running affects your body composition and system. We will walk you through the different stages your body goes through when you’re on a run.


The First Minute: A Burst of Energy

When you first hit the pavement, you would feel a surge in your energy level within the first minute. The adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in your muscles turn into adenosine diphosphate (ADP) to get your body moving. Where does ATP come from? The food you have consumed and stored in your muscles’ glycogen, which serves as your fuel storage waiting to be unpacked. As you continue to run, your muscles would release more ATP to keep you running happily.



The Next Few Minutes: Heating Up

After the first minute of running, your muscles would begin releasing lactic acid, telling your brain that you’re under physical stress. Receiving signal from your muscles, the brain would tell your body to bring more oxygen to the muscles in a process called anaerobic respiration. Your body would focus less on unnecessary functions like digestion and more on helping you cope with the physical stress. Heavy breathing happens as a larger amount of oxygen is required.

Your body also begins to burn calories and fat, raising your body temperature. To prevent you from overheating, your circulatory system would send blood flow to your skin, giving you a healthy flush. Your sweat glands are also in the work to release moisture to cool you off.



In 10 Minutes: Settling In

If you are a seasoned runner, you would have built up the physical endurance for running. After 10 minutes of running, your ATP supply and oxygen flow would settle into a sustainable cycle. However, if you haven’t been running regularly, you can start to feel the strain on your muscles in 10 minutes. Lactic acid would build up in your muscles, causing muscle aches. You would also have a hard time catching up on your breathing because your ATP and oxygen cycles fail to keep up.

Do you need to boost your endurance? Read our post on how to increase running stamina to improve your capacity!



In 30 Minutes: Cool Down

As you slow down your pace, your heart rate will gradually return to normal. That’s when you begin to reap the benefits of running. Along with feeling more energized, you will also feel a rush of endorphins and mood-elevating dopamine. “Runner’s high” kicks in and you would feel like you’re standing on top of the world! You might feel sore the next day, but you would be happy about taking the steps to physical fitness.

Through consistent running, you can build up muscle endurance and balance your body’s fat composition. Your heart and lungs will be healthier and you will feel a natural boost in your mood and energy level. Keep running!