If you are a fan of jogging and going on runs, plus the benefits that they bring you, you will be an even bigger fan of sprinting. In essence, sprinting is simply running as fast as you humanly can for a short amount of time. It’s a great form of exercise that doesn’t take very much time to do, but it comes with more benefits than you could possibly imagine.
If you have never thought about engaging in sprinting training on a regular basis, you might be willing to reconsider after you read what we have to say about the benefits of sprinting.
Benefit #1: Fat Loss & Metabolism Gain
One of the biggest benefits that you can get from engaging in a regular sprinting exercise is to lose body weight and burn an excessive number of calories, both of which are of course great things for the look of your body. Sprinting is by far one of the best activities that you can do to contribute to your weight loss goals.
The bottom line is that your body needs energy to function, and that includes sprinting. Whenever you sprint your body turns to its primary energy source, which is the calories that you eat, those you get from the food you consume on a daily basis. Therefore, sprinting leads to a lower weight level because the calories you eat never get a chance to turn into body fat before being used for vigorous exercise.
Moreover, if you don’t have a steady supply of calories, aka your energy source, your body will turn to its secondary source of energy, your fat reserves. Thus, sprinting, a highly intensive form of exercise which requires massive amounts of fuel to keep doing, will directly contribute to significant weight loss. The faster and longer you run for the more calories and fat your body will burn through, thus getting rid of that pot belly and those love handles.
That still is not the whole story though, because your body weight also has to do with your metabolism, something which greatly benefits from running. In essence, your metabolism dictates how many calories your body needs to burn through to get the energy it needs to function properly. Well, sprinting helps to increase your metabolism, which means that you burn a higher number of calories to keep you going.
Running or sprinting increases both your normal metabolism as well as your EPOC, or exercise post oxygen consumption. This means that your body will continue to function with a revved up metabolism for long after you actually finish exercising. As you can see, sprinting is a phenomenal way to burn several hundred calories in a short amount of time, rev up your metabolism, and lose a whole lot of weight.
Benefit #2: Better Heart Health
Something else that you can get from sprinting is a healthy heart. Your heart is one of the most important things in your body. It’s the number one thing that will keep you alive in your old age, so having a well-functioning heart is a key factor in a long and healthy life. Just like your muscles grow from exercising, your heart grows stronger through cardiovascular exercise.
Well, guess what, sprinting is about as an intense form of cardio that you can get. Sprinting is one of those forms of exercise that will definitely get your heart beating at a ridiculously high rate, and that quick beating means that it is being exercised.
The more cardio you do, the stronger and more efficient your heart will become. An exercise like sprinting allows your heart to become more efficient at its job, thus allowing it to pump more blood around your body with the same amount of effort it would have used for a lower amount of blood.
The result of this is a lower resting heart rate, lower blood pressure, and a decreased chance of strokes and heart attacks. Even better is that because there is more blood flowing around your body, your muscles get both more blood and oxygen, therefore allowing them to work harder for longer before getting tired. If you couldn’t already tell, sprinting and cardio in general does a whole lot of good for your heart, which in turn leads to many short and long term health benefits, as well as increased overall physical performance.
Benefit #3: Increasing Muscle Strength
Another giant benefit that comes along with regular sprinting is that of increased muscle strength. It takes a whole lot of power to run at top speed for a short amount of time, and even more so if you run for a longer time period. If you did not already know, your muscles grow through use, and more specifically, intense use that causes discomfort.
Your muscles need to first be broken down slightly in order to grow. You break your muscles down and cause something called micro-tears in them when you sprint or perform exercise in general.
These micro-tears then heal over with new muscle tissue and scar tissue, which in essence is the whole process of muscle growth. The harder you work out, the bigger those tears are, and eventually, the bigger your muscles grow as they heal.
Since sprinting is a very intense form of exercise, it is a great way to grow your leg muscles. Sprinting utilizes quite a few muscles in your legs. Do it often and you will notice the strength of your legs drastically increasing. If you find that normal sprinting is too easy you can always try sprinting up or down some hills for a harder challenge.
Using your legs for sprinting increases their strength, but of course, stronger legs are not just good in themselves. There are many benefits that come along with having stronger legs. Stronger legs are better looking, leaner, and more muscular legs which everyone will do a double take at. Stronger legs lead to better physical output in various sports and even for simple things like walking up stairs or carrying your kid around the house. If you want stronger legs and all of the benefits that come with those tree trunk legs, sprinting is one of your best choices.
Benefit #4: You Can Sprint Anywhere – It’s Versatile
Something that everybody should be able to appreciate about sprinting is that it can really be done anywhere. You don’t need any special equipment in your home and you don’t need to spring for an overly expensive gym membership either.
You can do short sprints back and forth in your home, you can sprint in your backyard, down the sidewalk, or even on a quiet road too, plus going to the park for a run is always fun too. The fact that sprinting can be done virtually anywhere makes it an excellent choice no doubt.
Benefit #5: Better VO2
Yet another benefit of sprinting that will come your way is the increased efficiency and health of your lungs. We already talked about how cardiovascular exercise such as sprinting builds stronger muscles and a much healthier heart, and it also does the same thing for your lungs. Sprinting will definitely get your chest heaving, which is exactly what you need to make your lungs stronger, just like any other form of improvement.
The more you do something, the better you get at it. Over time, your lungs will get more efficient from sprinting due to their increased ability to absorb and process oxygen. The more your sprint, the better your lungs will become at absorbing oxygen and sending it throughout your body. This has many health benefits because your body needs a whole lot of oxygen to function, which is never truer than during exercise.
Simply put, your muscles need oxygen to continue functioning, especially during exercise, or else you will start to feel that burn and fatigue real quick. This is a great cycle because the more you sprint the better your lungs get at their job, and the better your lungs get at their job the further and faster you can sprint. This is even beneficial for your everyday life because simple things like walking up a few flights of stairs won’t leave you heaving for air anymore, all thanks to some simple sprinting.
Benefit #6: Diabetes Control
Something else that sprinting can do for you is to help you control your diabetes, that is if you suffer from it. Diabetes, in simplest terms, has to do with your body’s inability to process sugar, specifically glucose. Well, when you sprint or engage in any form of intense exercise for that matter, it improves insulin action and helps keep your blood sugar level within normal levels.
In the long run, controlling your diabetes has many health benefits such as saving limbs that might have to be amputated otherwise, saving your vision, saving your kidneys, and keeping you nice and slim too. Doctors say it all of the time, exercise is by far one of the best ways to help prevent and control diabetes.
Benefit #7: A Stronger Skeleton
Have you noticed how sprinting makes many parts of your body stronger than ever? Well, this is also true for your skeleton, aka, the strength of your bones. Your bones get stronger from sprinting because it is something which is classified as a weight bearing exercise.
A weight bearing exercise is any type of exercise which forces your skeletal system to hold up an increased amount of weight for a prolonged amount of time, or it can also come from the effects of gravity and pressure, such as when your foot lands on the floor with each sprinting stride. Your bones get stronger because of your osteoblasts, which are the bone cells which are activated through weight bearing exercise, cells which then lay down more and more bone mass.
The overall result is that sprinting causes your bones to grow bigger, thicker, and denser too. This is of course very beneficial for your overall health because stronger bones usually lead to fewer injuries. It is much easier for your bones to stay in one piece when you fall when they are twice as strong and thick from sprinting.
Preventing breaks is not the only benefit though, because degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis can also be prevented through some simple bone building exercises. It really can’t get any better. Sprinting makes so many parts of your body stronger including your bones, muscles, heart, and lungs.
Benefit #8: Increased Endurance
What many of the previous benefits that we have talked about amount to is that sprinting increases your endurance and overall physical performance. Having a stronger heart to pump blood around your body, a stronger set of lungs to take in and distribute oxygen, and stronger muscles which can take you to the limit, all combine for a strong and stamina filled body. Sprinting on a regular basis is a great type exercise for increasing the amount of physical output that you can muster and that is true in several different ways.
Benefit #9: A Happier & Faster Brain
Yet another benefit that you can get from sprinting on a regular basis is that it helps to improve your mental health too, not just your physical health. You have obviously heard of something called the runner’s high, a feeling of happiness, relaxation, and extreme elation that runners get when they push themselves to the limit. Well, this is exactly what you get from sprinting, the runner’s high.
This is actually the mass release of endorphins by your brain which is caused by strenuous exercise such as sprinting. When you do hardcore exercise your brain releases several endorphins, also known as feel good chemicals, which flood your brain and make you feel happier both in the short and long term.
Serotonin, dopamine, and endocannabinoids are just a few of the long list of neurochemicals that your brain releases from a long and intense sprint. Combined, these chemicals make you feel happier, elated, and more relaxed. Moreover, when your brain is filled with these chemicals it can even go a long way in treating the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression too.
It doesn’t end there though, because intense exercise like this can also cause your brain to develop more neuro-receptors. Neuro-receptors are the things in your brain which fire signals around, the signals which cause your body to do everything it does, plus they are the things that help you remember things.
More receptors means having a better short and long term memory, having better problem-solving skills, and can even help treat the effects of age-related mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. The long story short is that sprinting helps to improve the health of your brain in more ways than one.
As you can see, there are many different benefits that you can get from engaging in sprinting exercises on a regular basis. The benefits of sprinting are diverse and varied: it is great for your heart, your bones, your lungs, your muscles, your brain, and so much more. Literally every part of your body can benefit from this awesome form of exercise.
If you have any questions or comments about sprinting, please feel free to let us know and we will get back to you as soon as possible!