Most people tend to think of long distance when it comes to running. While long distance running is a great way to keep fit and active, there are actually so many health benefits of sprinting as well. We know that not everyone can be Usain Bolt but everyone can benefit from sprint training. So don’t completely ditch your running program but do incorporate some sprints into your exercise plan as well.
What is Sprinting?
Sprinting is running as hard and as fast as you can for a period of time, typically 400-meters or less. This means no conserving energy or pacing yourself. Go hard straight from the start. Sound tiring? It can be. But it is well worth it. Here’s why—
6 Health Benefits of Sprinting That You Can Expect
1. Better Heart Health
Just like running, sprinting comes with cardiovascular health benefits. Your heart will be working extra hard and pumping faster, meaning that you will have better circulation. This will reduce the risk of heart disease. Also, your blood pressure will be lowered.
2. More Strength
Sprinting stimulates muscle building. It uses our fast-twitch muscle fibers, increasing in size and strength. In turn, this will help us not only build but maintain muscle. So if you are looking to improve your cardio while still wanting to build lean muscle, then sprinting is a really great option.
And of course, with more muscle, you will be able to run for faster and longer.
3. More Speed and Power
Sprinting is an explosive movement.Right from the get-go, you run hard from your very first step to your last. This is why one of the health benefits of sprinting is that you will have more power in your runs that you can use in long-distance running.
4. Longer Endurance
But how can sprints help you with your long-distance or marathon running? Well, it can actually help us run longer. This is because it improves the time it usually takes for us to become tired and experience fatigue. Include sprint training into your exercise regime and see how it impacts your running. Are you able to run for longer without feeling as tired? This is because sprinting betters your endurance capacity.
5. Faster Metabolism
Depending on your workout, your body takes different times to recover. With some exercises, such as sprints, it takes the body longer to return to its normal resting state (before working out). This is because sprinting is an anaerobic exercise meaning that your body cannot take in as much oxygen as it needs; there is a unbalanced demand-and-supply. Your body’s metabolism actually increases due to the lack of oxygen. This process is called excessive post-exercise consumption.
In short, your body continues to burn calories long after your workout has ended, giving you all the more reason to do sprints.
6. Less Time Working Out
In this busy on-the-go lifestyle that we all lead, anything that can get us results in less time is great. Because sprinting a an high-intensity workout, you cannot keep at it as long as you can long-distance running. So your working out time is much shorter!
However, the shorter workout time doesn’t take away from the results. You will still reap all the great health benefits of sprinting, while still taking less time to do it than other exercises!
Sprint HIIT Training
You don’t have to choose sprint training or long-distance running. There is room for both! You can alternate between sprints and running to give yourself a great sprint HIIT training session. Or you can even just include one or two sprint sessions throughout the week alongside your usual running program. This way, you can get the health benefits of sprinting as well as long-distance running.
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