4 reasons running is better than the gym

First, a disclaimer: We love the gym. We love strength trainingOpens a New Window. with free weights and workout machinesOpens a New Window.. And there’s tons of reasons you should do it whether you’re looking to build muscle, shed fat and calories, or simply amp up your overall health. But, there’s a slew of benefits specific to runningOpens a New Window. that together make a pretty strong case for any guy to consider becoming a runner. From the aesthetic benefits to the mental perks, there’s a reason why 19 million peopleOpens a New Window.finished races in the US last year. While we’re not saying you should quit the gym (please don’t), we are saying you should consider taking up running, too. Here’s 25 reasons why.

1. Running can help you live longer

Runners live longer than those who don’t. In one Archives of Internal MedicineOpens a New Window.study, researchers followed about 1,000 adults (ages 50 and older) for 21 years. At the end of the study, 85 percent of the runners were still kicking it, while only 66 percent of the non-runners were alive. Yikes.

2. Running can get you high

The runner’s high is real: Mounting research, including one study published in Experimental TechnologyOpens a New Window., shows that when we run, our brains pump out endocannabinoids, cannabis-like molecules that keep runners happy—and hooked. 

3. Running doesn’t require a commute

Sure, your gym workout might only take an hour, but getting to and from the gym takes another 30 minutes. But the second you step out of your front door, you can be running, says Moen. After all, you spend enough of your time in the car. What’s more: Running can be your commute!

4. Running fights off beer bellies

As you age, pounds just have a way of gluing themselves to your stomach. But in one Medicine & Science in Sports & ExerciseOpens a New Window. study of more than 100,000 runners, those who ran 35 or more miles per week gained less weight in their bellies throughout their mid-life years than those who ran less than nine.