Does jogging help you live longer? The short answer is yes, but that isn’t all you can do when you put on running shoes. If you are looking for an easy way to improve how you look and feel consider lacing up your sneakers for a run. Don’t worry. You don’t have to be an Olympian sprinter to get great results. Even if you are slow and steady rather than speedy or swift you will enjoy the following benefits and more.

Improve your overall health

Humans are meant to be active. Unfortunately for many of us our most regular activity is walking to the car. Step up your game and set yourself on the path to better health outcomes with running. Even a moderate regular running or jogging routine can reduce your cancer risk, strengthen your heart, and reduce blood pressure as well as your risk for diabetes. That isn’t all. Other benefits of jogging include healthier lungs, increased bone density, a stronger immune system and reduced inflammation. Another bonus – scientists have determined that runners have a 20 percent lower mortality rate than non-runners. Study results were presented at the 2012 American College of Sports Medicine meeting. In other words, running not only helps you live better, it may help you live longer, too.

Lose weight

One of the best calorie burning exercises you can do is run. When it comes to losing weight the math is simple; burn more calories to drop more pounds. Running is among the most efficient ways to win the weight loss war. What’s even better is you already know how. No special training or equipment is required. You can run on your own or with a group. You are in complete control of your schedule and your stride. If you are just beginning a running program resist the temptation to do too much too soon. Your goal is to stay on your feet by avoiding injury and overexertion. Always begin with a warm up walk or slow jog and gradually add time and distance as your body allows. It is also helpful to stretch after each run.

Look great

You already know that there are many physical benefits to jogging. Did you know there are also a number of psychological benefits? For example, running makes you walk taller. No, you won’t actually be any taller, but you will stand straighter with renewed confidence and energy. Running reduces stress and anxiety, builds confidence and even gives you a healthy glow. Also, running is at least as effective as anti-depressants for managing mild to moderate depression. No matter your age, running not only helps you look better it helps you feel better.

When it comes to planning proactively for long term health it is hard to dispute the advantages running offers. In just 30 minutes most days of the week you can jog your way to improved physical and emotional health. Why not get started today? You can find time in your schedule to make an investment in your health. Your future self will thank you.