So many people seem to be running ever longer distances and taking on epic adventure races these days, and it’s easy to feel demoralised if you’ve just started out or, like me, are a runner who has no intention of achieving Ultra distances, but just wants to enjoy every run and build up some speed or distance.
Running your first 5K is a fantastic goal to aim for, but it can also seem intimidating when you’re at the start of your journey. Most importantly, don’t worry about it, and don’t give up. You’ll be still be reaping some major benefits from running, jogging, or run/walking much shorter distances – and, as the saying goes, ‘every little helps’!
With that in mind, here are some reasons why running for just 15 minutes is great for your mind, body and soul.
It takes Bravery
Putting on your trainers and heading out of the door when you may not have run since your school days takes guts. Once you get into a routine of running a few times a week, you’ll feel your confidence soar.
It’s a Brilliant Calorie Burner
The number of calories you burn depends on your age, weight, gender, fitness levels and the intensity at which you run. However, on average, you can expect to burn about 150 calories during a 15-minute run – not too shabby.
It’s a Top Mood Booster
To this I can certainly attest, and you don’t even need to run for 15 minutes to feel the benefits of the ‘happy hormone’ endorphins. Exercise really is a great way to reduce stress, feel happier and protect your mental health. If you can run outside in the fresh air and green spaces, then it’s even better.
It will help you to Sleep Better
Even short bursts of running or jogging during the day can help you to drop off more easily and improve your sleep patterns.
You’ll Tone Up Fast
Even running for 10 or 15 minutes three to four times a week will have a big impact on your body. Running requires you to engage your core muscles and use your arms as well as your legs, so you’ll likely notice a difference in your muscle tone within weeks. As you get fitter, you can try adding some short intervals into your 15-minute session – such as running fast for 30 seconds, slower for 30 seconds – these will help to boost the toning and calorie burning effects.
There’s a Lower Risk of Injury
Running for just 15 minutes inherently poses a far smaller risk of injury than if you were to run for an hour at a time, as you’re not overusing your muscles of exposing your joints to pressure for long periods. So, it would be possible to run for 15 minutes every day. However, when you’re starting out, I would advise to include 2 rest days into your week, which will allow your body to adapt to the exercise and recover.
It Builds a Great Base Fitness
Running for 15 minutes a few times a week will help you build a great base level of fitness, so that when you’re ready, and if you want to, you can start training for a longer distance or even your first 5K or 10K race.
Once you can run for 15 minutes, it helps to build your confidence and will make you feel ready for anything!