By Dr Jason Kaplan, Sports Cardiologist, and Vlad Shatrov, Running Coach, Marathon Runner, Founder of Runlab and Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Expert.

Question: What promises a healthier body, a sunnier outlook on life, and the perfect opportunity to catch up with a friend?

Expert answer: The very simple practice of running, regularly.

As health professionals and partners of the 2018 Blackmores Sydney Running Festival, we swear by running as a ritual when it comes to health benefits for the body and mind. Best of all, it’s an activity that’s accessible to most people, no matter their age, stage or ability. All you need is a quality pair of runners and the right mindset, and you’re ready to start – at your own pace.

Need more convincing?

Running can extend your life

According to a review of evidence[i] in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Disease, runners live three years longer than non-runners. You don’t even have to run fast, or for long, to see a benefit. Running improves your fitness level and our fitness has a direct relationship to longevity especially as we get older. In fact, even small improvements in fitness on a treadmill has been shown to lead to a reduction in cardiac events.[ii]

Running offers significant mental health benefits

The mental benefits of physical activity are as compelling as the physical ones. Increased resilience, stress reduction, improved cognitive function, and improved mood are just some of the benefits that people performing regular physical activity – such as running – describe.

Running makes you more resilient to dealing with every day stress by increasing levels of brain neurotransmitters like noradrenaline and serotonin, which then improves mood and can reduce anxiety.[iii]

When you run with other people, you’ll also experience mood-boosting social benefits.

And if you want to improve your memory, running can help too.[iv] A review of research on the cognitive-boosting effect of aerobic exercise such as running, found that for children, running improved working memory and focus. For young adults, working memory saw a similar boost – as did task-switching ability.

For older adults, this sort of activity provides a long list of cognitive benefits, including working memory, focus, and task switching.

If you’re looking to set a running goal, why not register for the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival on 16 September 2018. This year Blackmores has partnered with Special Olympics Australia to help give Australians the motivation they need to get moving and demonstrate that barriers don’t have to stop people from exercising. For more information and to register, visit