What happens to your body when you run?

To see what happens to our body let’s do some warm up and start running. Doing warm up before is important cause it wakes your body up and makes it ready for the upcoming run may it be a brisk walk or some light exercises.

Your body uses more ATPs

We all remember from our biology classes that mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Well this powerhouse uses ATP as its currency. ATP is Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is an energy rich compound. The bond between this second and  third phosphate is energy rich bond. When this bond gets broken, we get ADP adenosine diphosphate and energy.

When we started running, the first ATPs for energy come from glucose. when the run starts  lasting enough time, our  body uses stored energy. If you managed to run with enough intensity then your body doesn’t get enough oxygen and it shifts to anaerobic respiration. This is when the body starts producing lactate from pyruvate temporarily and you feel sore the next day.

Now we get to blame a chemical in our body for all the soreness.

Side stitches

Now that you’ve been running for a long time you start feeling pain usually in the right side of your abdomen. This is called as side stiches

 The real reason behind these side stitches is unknown but there are  research studies who suggest two different reasons.

First reason being the movement of blood to diaphragm and different muscles in your abdomen.

and the other research suggests that the irritation of abdominal lining and pelvic cavity might be the reason.

 this  pain can cause because of a meal just before a run or sugary sports drinks. It’s recommended that you avoid eating anything in the 3-hour window before a run if you get side stitches. Also, beginner runners like me and you are more prone to side stitches than experienced runners.

before this run and during your day make sure that you stay hydrated this may reduce occurrence of side stitches.

Increases your VO2 max

If you continue running regularly you will experience that you can climb up a bunch of stairs without having any difficulty and feel more energetic overall.  This is because of increased VO2 max.

 VO2 max is your body’s capacity to use oxygen when you are doing intense exercise. It is measured in a sports  performance lab. It is one of the several tests to measure cardiovascular fitness. This is measured in millilitres of oxygen used in body in one minute per kilogram of bodyweight (mL/min/Kg).

This measurement is based on fact that more oxygen used by the body, the more energy is generated. As you start running more and more the ability of your body to use more oxygen and generate more energy increases. And chores which used to exhaust you don’t seem so difficult anymore.

Now that you’ve been running for a long time you’ve built some lean muscle mass. running is a cardiovascular exercise but it is possible to build some amount of muscle mass in your legs by running.

Let’s go down the daydreaming lane now (I hope  you know what I mean) please understand me people on the internet. you’ve been running for quite a while now, and you decide I will train for a marathon,

You will experience something which is known as hitting the wall. This happens because our body on an average stores 1800-2000 calories in form of glycogen. This glycogen is stored sugar in our body which is an easy to use compound to produce energy.

When our body runs out of glycogen, this hitting the wall phenomenon happens. Also remember, to preserve energy your brain  makes you want to quit. this makes it a lot harder for you to run further.

  But this doesn’t mean that you can’t run beyond this. When your body shifts from using glycogen to stored fat you have enough energy to run many more miles. But for this to happen you need enough carbohydrates present in your body as using fats for energy is a complex process for our body. This is where carbo loading before marathon comes into picture. Which means that marathoners eat a lot of carbs before running a marathon.

 when your body runs for that long distances according to a research study published in oxford academic journal our body realises endorphins. This is what they call as runner’s high. It is a natural pain killer which is released as a survival mechanism because our ancestors needed this  to run from predators and do hunting. But for this to happen our body needs to be trained for running. That’s why training before running a marathon is very important.

When you exercise it’s not only endorphins that get released but also other chemical messengers like norepinephrine, serotonin and cortisol is released. All of these are great to lift your mood up and known to get depressed people out of their depression phase.

Well, setting all these fancy hormones aside I feel  that I am happier on the days when I go for run outside. it’s the feeling of accomplishment after your run that matters the most to me. It makes me feel good about myself, and this is what all these researchers claim that running is good for your mental health

and better mental health means increased attention span, reduced stress and a happy you which is the most important thing.

Because running is such a great exercise for your heart you will have an excitingly good heart health with lower risk for blood pressure problems, lower cholesterol levels and not last but least, lower risk of heart attacks.

All these benefits lead to an increased lifespan and happier healthier version of yourselves.

Stay happy and healthy everyone, hope you liked todays blog, I had a lot of fun making it. If you have a health question in your head ask me in the comments below I will try my best to answer it.

Follow me for more such content

VO2 max : https://www.verywellfit.com/what-is-vo2-max-3120097

Side stitches : https://www.healthline.com/health/side-stitch#:~:text=What%20causes%20side%20stitches%3F,cavity%20may%20be%20the%20cause.

Runners high : https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a20851505/how-to-achieve-a-runners-high/

https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article/18/11/2523/291108

stress relief : https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/exercise#1

3 thoughts on “What happens to your body when you run?

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