The Benefits of Cross Country Running


       Cross country running provides an incredibly effective and convenient way to stay in shape. There are no new skills to master or equipment to buy; a runner just needs a good pair of shoes. Everyone knows how to run, so it’s only a matter of time and practice to get into perfect form. On top of that, cross country running can take place virtually anywhere, especially on grass, mud, dirt trails or hills.

       While the sport can be challenging at times, the health and mental benefits are definitely worth the training. Running gives you a world-class workout. When your legs hit their stride, they squeeze blood towards your heart, which in turn forces it to pump the blood right back. The faster you run, the harder your heart works and the stronger it gets. Running bolsters your cartilage by increasing oxygen flow and flushing out toxins and strengthens the ligaments around your joints. Not only that, it is also one of the best forms of exercise to lose extra pounds or maintain a steady weight. Runners are much more likely to be at a normal weight than members of a sedentary population. This significantly decreases their risk of diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure and stroke.

Aside from the health benefits, running can boost confidence, relieve stress and eliminate depression. Within a few minutes of running, the brain begins to release endorphins that naturally improve mood, leaving runners energized and happier. As a result, running can reduce common stress-related problems, such as diminished appetite and poor sleep quality.

It is not always easy to run on a regular basis, but by joining the school’s cross country team, you can make and maintain a commitment to the sport. Running in a team serves as a motivation and a healthy way to work with others.