Why These 3 Addictive Benefits of Running… Can Keep You From Enjoying It


With New Year’s now behind us, some people are in the groove to keeping commitments to their resolutions. Some people have included lifting weights while others give a go at running. Did you know that running can be addictive?  There were estimations of nearly 65 million runners took to the trails, streets and treadmills in America in 2017, with the expectation of even more in 2018. And many of those believe that running is addictive. But why? We will discuss 3 reasons why people find running to be so addictive.

Running is addictive

Why Is Running Addictive?

#1 The Runner’s High

That happens after a really good workout and the feeling is second to none. It’s the sense of euphoria following a run and makes you want to do it again and again. It can be like a drug and you’ll do anything to get that feeling back. And in some, it can be so addictive that they run for those endorphins even when injured. The endorphins are natural “feel good” hormones that get released and that’s what makes you want more. So, get out on the trail and feel good!

#2 The Meditative State

When you run, you tend to drown out everything else around you. You forget about the paperwork at the office or the bills to pay at home. Running is addictive because you find yourself listening to your music or zoning out on the sights and sounds of the great outdoors. Meditation is a state of being… at peace both in physicality and mentality. And it gives you balance in your life. Give gratitude for your ability to run and to how good you will feel after you have completed what you set out to do. This makes running meditative, especially if you bring focus to yourself during your run.

#3 The Health Benefits

This one seems obvious and the effects are to both mind and body. Inside your body, you increase cardiovascular stress, which the body adapts to. It strengthens both the heart and lungs and forces the body to pump blood to fill this demand. It strengthens the muscles of your legs and core as you call on them to carry you up and down the trails. It forces your integumentary system (or skin) to sweat, making it efficient in cooling your body. And when you run with a group of friends, it strengthens your bond with one another. So make the addiction of running provide you with the health benefits that work for you!


Now you should understand why running is addictive and can be very healthy for you… But don’t do it every day! Still want to do it often?  A comprehensive program should include any combination of running, surfing, cycling, swimming, weight training or the like. The variety helps to reduce your risk of injury. If you would like to know more about how you can run better without running more, check out our sports performance page at www.level4pt.com/sports-performance.

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Chris Ingstad, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, ATC, FAAOMPT

Performance Physical Therapist at Level4 Physio-Wellness-Performance
Dr. Chris Ingstad is a nationally-known Physical Therapist and Co-Founder of Level4 Physio-Wellness-Performance, San Diego’s Leading Specialist Private Physical Therapy and Human Performance Practice for People in their 40’s, 50’s and beyond, who value their health and want to remain active.

You might know Dr. Chris as a National Conference presenter on various rehabilitation topics, including on treating people with shoulder, neck and low back injuries. He also teaches at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in the Musculoskeletal track, where he brings clinical practice into the classroom for future physical therapists. He also is published in Jiu Jitsu Magazine and Coastal Newspaper on various areas, including low back and neck and shoulder injuries.

Dr. Chris’ background included working extensively with athletes with shoulder, knee and low back injuries, taking them from post-injury or post-operative to return to sport. He prides himself on the ability to get positive outcomes, even with difficult cases. Level4 Physio-Wellness-Performance is now a large multi-physical therapist specialty practice in Encinitas, CA. In his free time, he enjoys cycling, golfing, hiking/camping, and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Chris Ingstad, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, ATC, FAAOMPT

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