For beginners, there are so many health benefits of lacing your trainers and going for that first run. With studies proving running makes you a happier person, decreases the risk of depression and dementia and even improves symptoms of schizophrenia, it’s definitely not all about the physical changes.
That said, when we asked our Runner’s World readers about the effects running had on their bodies, the transformation stories we recieved were so inspiring, we had to share them:
I was on my way to an early grave in 2015 at 30 stone plus, then, nearly 16 stone lighter, I became a London Marathon finisher in 2017. Running has given me both my health, and my life back.
I started going to Slimming World at 23 stone, then started running at 20 stone and since then I have lost nine stone. I couldn’t run for 30 seconds when I started, but now I run 5K twice a week and 7K once a month. I also built up to running eight miles last month.
Running has transformed my body but not in the way you think. Before, I suffered from an eating disorder and was underweight and unhappy. Then I discovered running and I loved it so much that I realised I had to eat better to fuel my body. I’ve gained about three stone, but I’m stronger and healthier than ever.
Running and massive diet changes helped me shed 12 stone in a little over a year! I’ve now stabilised my weight and am hitting running goals I never in my wildest dreams thought I would make. I’ve completed a sub 20 minute 5K and a sub 41 minute 10K and I’m now starting to work on reducing my half and full marathon PB. Running has given me the confidence to do new things and has certainly benefited my mental, and overall physical health.
I love running and how much it has helped with my weight loss. I’ve lost four half marathons, numerous 10Ks and 103 Parkruns and counting.
The picture on the left is me going out the door weighing 16 stone and completing day 1 week 1 of Couch to 5K. One year, five months and one week later I took the picture on the right after completing my first marathon, weighing 11 stone 10lb.
I went from couch potato to ultra-runner – from 23 stone to 12.5 stone.
Back in 2015 I was overweight and suffering with severe anxiety and depression. With encouragement from friends and family, I began following the Slimming World eating plan and I lost five stone. In trying to discover ways to maintain my weight loss, I developed a love for running. In 2017 I completed my first half marathon, running to raise money for Mind the mental health charity – as running has definitely been the best form of therapy. This year my goal has been to take part in one event each month, from 5K’s to trail runs and another Great North Run in September. Running has definitely transformed my life, I’m happy, healthy and always looking for my next adventure.
On the left I was running a 2:10 half marathon, on the right, four stone lighter, I’d just run a 1:35 PB.
I started running first and then eating healthier and managed to lose 11.5 stone. Running has totally changed mine and my family’s life – I now run with my daughter, which is one of the biggest rewards.
Four stone lost and I’ve gone from not being able to run down the street, to finishing a marathon. Running made me make better food choices, but I never went on a diet as such. Weight loss isn’t the reason I run any more. I run because it keeps me sane and it’s totally amazing.
Running has helped me change my life for good. For two years I’ve stayed at my target weight – nine and a half stone lighter than when I started and I’m never going back.
Running and healthy eating helped me lose five stone and run a 2:55 marathon last year.
Running has given me an increased confidence to go for the things I want – I am now four stone lighter and my binge eating is under control. It has also provided a perfect solution to helping me deal with everyday stresses and anxieties.