Life can seriously get in the way of running. Perhaps the nights are drawing in and there seems to be less and less time for a run. The thought of an hour-long slog after a busy day might just be too much, so instead opt for a thirty-minute run during your lunch break or before the school run, but how much will that benefit your mind, body and fitness levels?
Ever felt that runner’s high? Think it’s a myth? Well, it isn’t! Runners high is a ‘feel good’ chemical endorphin release after prolonged exercise, and lasts for hours after. Not only that, scheduling some ‘me’ time to run is so important for some space and clarity to prepare or reflect on the day. Exercise is imperative for mental health, not only do you feel good but you think more positively and learn better too! Studies prove regular running has positive effects on your brain structure and function. Its generation of neurons in the hippocampus of the brain is directly linked to improving learning capabilities.
Getting out on the trails is also proven to be a grounding experience, but you can genuinely feel the stress and anxiety melt away. Not only is the scenery breathtaking, but a loose dog will for sure make you giggle at some point – and who doesn’t want that?
Improved cardiovascular endurance
Looking to build up your stamina? No problem! In 30 minutes you can work your body enough for positive fitness rewards. Whether you’ve decided to take a long steady jog, some interval training, cross-training or mixed it up with some fartlek speed play, training for thirty minutes is a solid session to up the gains.
If you’re new to running and looking to build up your endurance to 30 minutes, a run/walk interval or fartlek training is the perfect option, adjust to your own capabilities, and just keep moving for thirty minutes best you can.
Calories burned on a thirty-minute run
Looking to lose weight? Then you need to be in a calorie deficit – burning more than what you’re eating. Yeah, it can seem a bit crazy when you learn that intense vacuuming for one hour has only burnt a small child’s candy bar… but don’t fret. Like anything consistency is key.
Research suggests an average 185 lb person should expect to burn around 420 calories within 30 minutes, sitting at a consistent pace of 6mph. You see your speed and weight will determine how much you burn – Me and my partner run together and he always burns double the number of calories as me, on the same run and pace… simply because I am literally half his size. But on average, expect 200-500 calories for a 30-minute stint. Note: sprint-run intervals will burn more because of the intensity.
Reduces risk of injury
It is almost guaranteed that as a runner, you will pick up a minor injury… at some point. The blessing of 30-minute sessions? It hugely reduces the risk of that happening through overstretching or muscle fatigue. Not only that, but the recovery needed from a 30-minute training session is much less than an hour stint or even longer. This means you can train more frequently and consistently than those going out for an hour or more at a time.
Let’s not go crazy here, you still need a warm-up and cool down, as you now know, 30 minutes of training is still intense and beneficial to your body if you continue to stretch and prepare right.
Fits into a busy schedule
It’s probably why you’re here right? Can only manage 30 minutes at a time with your busy life, and wondering to yourself if it’s even worth it? I’m here to tell you it is!
Stats are staggering, even now working from home is an option, it is something crazy like office workers spend around 9 hours a day sat at a desk, doesn’t 30 minutes during your lunch break or straight after work sound like an amazing idea? To get away from the screen and technology and refresh. Re-stress after work, or push it before work starts and ride that runners high, all day.
Hands up if you need more sleep?
I know I do! If your slotting in the 30-minute session before breakfast or the school run it’s likely you’re getting up a little earlier and so surely that affects your sleep, but I assure you, your sleep quality will be better after a good run.
In fact, regular exercise can help you regain a natural circadian rhythm and lengthen the time you are in ‘deep sleep’ (the quality kind). For this to work, it’s best not to leave your run til just before bedtime, the physiological effects of exercise can make you more alert, plus, you won’t have time to enjoy the runner’s high!
It’s free and flexible
Signing up for your first couch to 5k is so rewarding, just as rewarding as a 5k PB. So, regardless of what your goals are (or excuses), running is free and available for you. All you need is a good pair of running shoes and a can-do attitude.
It’s a super supportive community, whether you’re a casual park runner or a seasoned ultra-runner, you’re welcome and running for thirty minutes benefits everyone. Just go at your own pace, everyone is running their own race out there.
So, what’s stopping you?