Take a stroll through your local neighbourhood and you are sure to see more people than ever pounding the pavement. Inspired the likes of Mo Farrah and Paula Radcliffe, running and the benefits it brings are more popular than ever.

Here are 7 reasons to start running today.

1. Boost your mood

Running is scientifically proven to improve your mood by trigging endorphin production, which encourages positive feelings, leaving you with that ‘feel good factor’ at the end of your run.

2. Meet new people in your local area.

Almost all areas now have a running club. A quick search on the Internet will hook you up with runners with a range of experience, offering you the chance to meet new people and learn from those who have been running for a long time.

3. Improve your health

Being a cardiovascular exercise, running is good for your heart and overall health. You will soon start to notice the difference in your everyday life as your fitness and energy levels increase.

4. Set goals and push yourself

Whether it be pace, distance, or competing in a competitive race, there are a myriad of goals that you can set yourself when running. Having a goal drives you to get out when the weather is poor and run when you would rather sit on the sofa and eat biscuits! Success leads to greater motivation and bigger and beater goals: there’s no limit to what you can achieve as a runner.

5. Fits easily around your lifestyle

Running can be done at any time of day: on your lunchbreak, before work, early evening. You do not need to commit to a regular time place but rather run at a time that suits you.

6. Stress relief

Heading out for a run gives your mind a chance to unwind and shed the day’s stress. As your feet hit a rhythm you feel an unrivalled freedom and calmness as you focus on your running and the path ahead.

7. Cheap and easy

Little specialist equipment is needed for running – just a pair of trainers, shorts, T-shirt and the open road!

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