The Health Benefits Of Running: Is It Good for Your Heart and Lungs?

When you consider the health benefits of running, it’s easy to understand why it is so popular right now.

Running is a popular workout since it is inexpensive and can be done at any time that is convenient for you. Fun runs, sports races, and marathons are all popular among runners, so don’t forget to contact your local running club if you want to compete with other runners.

In this blog, Health and Fitness advocate and former Ironman, Killian Byrne of the Irish Runner magazine, is going to talk you through some the health benefits of running, he’ll answer if running is good for your heart and lungs, and other things.

And don’t forget to check out our other running related blogs, such as a Beginners Guide to Trail Running.

benefits of running

The Health Benefits of Running

“The saying goes ‘You’ll never regret a run’ and while many might dispute the sentiment, there is overwhelming evidence that being active is one of the best interventions we can undertake to improve our wellbeing.

“While it’s clear that moving more can increase our cardiovascular health, weight loss, improve muscle function and help in regulating pain, recent studies show that exercise can be used as part of a treatment plan for more than 20 conditions including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, chronic back pain and in some cases, exercise can play a role in preventing certain types of cancer.

“Parkrun, the global provider of free 5k events for walkers, runners and volunteers, undertook research to examine the benefits being active has on our physical, mental and emotional health. The results were so strong that parkrun teamed up with GP practises around the UK and Ireland to actually prescribe exercise as a tool in the doctor’s arsenal towards improving their patients lives.”

Is Running Good for you Heart and Lungs?

“What’s becoming clear to the medical profession today is the role exercise can have in supporting our personal mindset.

“Regardless of our age or fitness levels just getting outdoors can help lift our mood. All too often nowadays we find ourselves consumed with the pressures of work, family, finance and home life, concerns which have heightened in the enforced lockdown the Coronavirus has brought upon us. 

“We are encouraged to get 30 minutes of activity a day and for many even that is becoming a problem.

“But all is not lost, research from Sport Ireland highlights that since the start of the pandemic over one million people in Ireland have become more active, with running being top of the list of activities we like to do and a study by Asics during the pandemic found that 78% of runners said the activity helps to ‘clear their mind’.

“So what benefits of running are people getting out of it?”

 benefits of running

Relieves Stress

“Running gives an opportunity to ‘de-stress’. Getting up, out and away from the desk allows us to forget the pressures of life for a while and whether you chose to run through a forest or jog by the sea the opportunity for a change of scenery provides a rush of endorphins you’ll not find when sitting at your computer in the kitchen. You don’t always have to work up a sweat but being active is an ideal way to boost the body’s ability to deal with tension.”

Enjoy More Family Time

“It’s a chance for family time we may not have had in the past. Long commutes, late meetings, increased workload and lifestyle pressures has meant that previously, families rarely spent any meaningful time in each other’s company. Today, we are not only spending more leisure time together but are actually getting out and exercising together. Children will relish the chance to run with their parents; Parents will treasure the new found time with their children. We’re beginning to understand that the really important things in life are those that are closest to us.”

Achieve Your Goals

“With our running, we get to set personal goals rather than professional ones. The motivation to reach your 10,000 steps, weekly mileage distance or 30 minutes activity a day all work towards deflecting your effort away from the pressures of ‘life’ and focus your emotions towards yourself. Personal goals give us an incentive to maintain the effort we may have planned in our January resolutions. Pick measurable, achievable targets and reward yourself when you reach them. Then when you do achieve your goals, set some more and start again.”

Receive Greater Emotional Support

“Support from friends and family – important because humans are essentially social beasts. Exercising with our family and those in our safe bubble allows us to continue the social connection that has been lost in today’s online ‘zoom meeting’ world. Remember though, exercise connects us emotionally even if we can’t connect physically. We encourage each other to get up and active and reach goals and targets together. Large scale national initiatives like 100 days of walking provide support while helping people reinforce friendships along with building new ones.”

Focus on You

“Most of all though exercise can provide ‘you’ time. Your run, walk, hike or swim is time you can spend in your own thoughts. It is time to think, to contemplate and work through the emotions that may have been weighing on your shoulders with no opportunity for release. Running allows you to direct your attention to yourself rather than on the problems others set you. You’ll be surprised by how much breathing exercises, mindful thinking and mood boosting podcasts can make your run some of the most personally productive time you can get.”

 benefits of running

The Benefits of Running for You?

“If you run then you are a runner.

“There’s no special distance or time to reach before the benefits begin, you just need to run. You don’t need to be fast, run far or enter races, you don’t need to have ambitions to run a marathon or collect medals, you just need to start.

“One foot in front of the other. You might jog, then walk, then jog again but consistency will see you get used to being on your feet and what once seems impossible will become normal.

“Three 20 minute runs a week are better than trying to run for an hour every weekend. Don’t overstretch, listen to your body and remember that we never have to run but we do get to run. How we frame our run is key, running is enjoyable and should always be fun.

“The benefits of being active are well documented. It calms us, it makes us more productive, it boosts our brain. Running helps manage stress and improves sleep. Running makes us more productive and increases creativity it. From head to toe the advantages of running are no longer disputed. You might start running to take care of the body but you’ll continue because it’s good for the mind.”


Avoiding Health Risks

Running injuries are common because it is a repetitive, weight-bearing exercise that requires you to work against gravity.

Because shoes help cushion the impact of landing, certain factors, such as not wearing the proper running shoe, can make runners more prone to injury.

However, the most common cause of injury in runners is doing too much too soon. Runners can avoid injury by keeping track of their fitness and making sure they aren’t overtraining.

Injury can occur if you increase your weekly running distance too quickly.

Rest, ice, and pain medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen can be used to treat most overuse injuries.

Our Ultimate Guide to Running for Beginners will tell delve into detail on this subject even  more.

But remember, the benefits of running for outweigh the risks.

Find all things running HERE and avail of Free Returns and Free Delivery Over €60.

benefits of running





The Intersport Elverys and Brooks Time Machine Strava Challenge

Feeling ready for a quick run & receive a prize, enter HERE.

Top running brand, Brooks have teamed up with Intersport Elverys and created a run segment challenge on Strava to mark the launch of the new Levitate 5 – a comfortable lightweight running shoe. If you can clock up 1.1k between 16th September and 13th October, you can collect a free gift in your nearest Intersport Elverys store.

The time machine is all about going faster then you’ve ever gone before – and that’s you challenge. Run our segment in the Phoenix Park in Dublin to grab your badge and earn your free goodies. How fast can you go on the 1.1km segment? You’ve got from the 9th of September to October 16th 2021 to complete the challenge. You can sign up here for the challenge HERE.

Then show your badge in one of the Intersport Elverys stores below and take your hard earned €10 SmellWell Freshener home. The SmellWell Freshener Inserts is a natural 3-in-1 solution that effectively absorbs moisture, removes odours, and leaves a long-lasting fresh scent. Just throw them in your shoes, gear or bag and experience a real difference! (*while stocks last)

Intersport Elverys – Dublin Henry Street

Intersport Elverys – Dublin Suffolk Street

Intersport Elverys – Dundrum

Intersport Elverys – Dublin Blanchardstown

Intersport Elverys – Dublin Fonthill

Intersport Elverys – Dun Laoghaire Georges Street

Intersport Elverys – Swords

The route:

Get all your Brooks footwear and clothing in-store or online HERE at Intersport Elverys now.

WIN A Trip To Paris | The Big Irish Rugby Giveaway T&Cs

1- The promoter is Intersport Elverys whose registered office is at Moneen Industrial Estate , Castlebar.

2- The competition is open to residents of Ireland aged 18 years or over except employees of Intersport Elverys and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.

3- There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.

4- By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

5- Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are on Elverys Blog.

6- Multiple entries will be accepted per person.

7- Closing date for entry will be 28th September 2023. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.

8- Winner will be picked on the 28th September 2023 and will have until 09:00am Monday 2nd of October to accept. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.

9- The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows: Fill out the contact form on our blog

10- The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.

11- The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.

12- The prize is as follows: Win a tailored trip to Paris with flights & hotel plus extras.

The prize is as stated and no extra cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.

13- Winners will be chosen:

[at random by software, from all entries received and verified by Promoter and or its agents.]

14- The winner will be notified by email or social media. The winner will only ever be contacted by Intersport Elverys Official pages or an official contact. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 3 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

15- The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected / is delivered.

16- The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

17- The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by Irish law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Ireland.

18- The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.

20- This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to Intersport Elverys and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found at [

Thanks for entering & goodluck!



WIN A 3 Night Family Stay In Ireland

This competition is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. We’ll announce a winner shortly.

Make this Summer a Summer of sport. Let the kids be active. Make the most of the outdoors, no matter what the weather. To celebrate, we have a family hotel break to give away in conjunction with FBD Hotels & Resorts. The prize includes a 3 night family break in one of the three FDB Hotels & Resorts in Ireland.

To enter, we’d like you to tell us about what’s important to you when it comes to shopping for your children.  Aside from books and uniforms, there’s a lot to buy as they return to schools and sport.

For the chance to enter this fantastic prize, fill out all fields of the form and submit your answers. Check out the terms and conditions HERE.

Let us help you kit them out with the right clothing, footwear and equipment to kick start their summer of sport in their favourite sportswear, in-store or online HERE.

Henshaw and Aki Continue Shared Journey with Lions


Bundee Aki couldn’t bear to look as the Lions squad was announced so he left his Connacht teammates watching it on television and went outside at the Sportsground to cast his eye over the academy players training. He knew he was in contention, he just didn’t dare to dream and he didn’t know exactly how close he was to joining that small band who have played Super Rugby and also been selected for the Lions.

The academy players did enough to distract him but then all hell broke loose. “I just heard this massive roar from the changing room. I was like, what’s going on here? Then all the lads and coaches ran out. I was in shock, I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know what to say. I turned around, I said I got leave, I got to go home. The academy lads and coaches didn’t know what was going on. I had to leave, I said thanks to them.”

He rang his wife Kayla and she was in tears as well. Phone calls were made to New Zealand, messages of congratulations came flying in from all over the world as he drove home. “We were shedding tears on the phone, when I got home we shed more tears. Told my parents, same thing. To look back at the time I left New Zealand, to now. It’s been great. It’s such an honour to be able to represent the British & Irish Lions.”
One man who wasn’t the least surprised to hear Aki’s name being called out was Robbie Henshaw, his old Connacht, current Irish and hopefully future Lions centre partner.
“No, not all, I wasn’t the least surprised. From the last game he played against England he had a stormer. Definitely, when he gets a run of games that’s when he hits form. From what he has done previously, no surprise in my eyes,” said Henshaw, speaking at an Intersport Elverys and Canterbury event announcing details of a competition for young fans to train with Aki and Henshaw.

Their Lions selection is the latest chapter in their shared journey. Henshaw is three years younger and having made his Connacht debut at 19, just three months after leaving Marist College in Athlone, he had two full seasons under his belt and was an international when Aki arrived at the Sportsground in autumn 2014.

By the time Aki became eligible and made his Irish debut against South Africa in November 2017, Henshaw was a seasoned international who had returned from the Lions tour to New Zealand.

There was never much doubt about Henshaw making this Lions squad but Aki’s hopes seem to fade when a couple of niggling injuries limited game-time with Connacht during the winter and then he was out of favour with Six Nations selection before finally getting the nod against England when Garry Ringrose picked up an ankle injury.

That paved the way for his 31st Irish appearance, all of which he has started and 15 of them with Henshaw, but his red card for a high hit on Billy Vunipola hardly did his Lions hopes much good, not least as he has had no relationship with Warren Gatland up to this.

“I only met him once or twice,’ said Aki. “That time they beat us in the Millennium Stadium when he was coaching Wales. I only said hello to him then. Then the second time was when he came to training the week of the England game. Just said hello to him. I haven’t had him as a coach. He spoke to us briefly after the training session, that was it really,” said the 31-year old.

Aki has no qualms about the red card that day when he became the first Irish player to be sent off twice in an international. “It is part of the law, I am not going to argue with who made the decision. It was the right decision at the time looking back at it. It is the law in the game we have to live by and change the way we play rugby anyway.”

Henshaw was one of the first to congratulate him on his Lions selection and welcome him on board. They had hit it off from the moment Aki arrived in Galway, off the pitch every bit as much as on it.

“That was one of the things Bundee brought, just how important relationships on and off the pitch are key, particularly in close positions, to make sure that myself and himself were always staying in touch about rugby and also having an off switch. It wasn’t just about rugby. We were able to chill out and play PlayStation, just do things outside of rugby.”

“I had to watch him play the squeeze-box,” said Aki. “I didn’t realise how talented he was in music.” Henshaw spared Aki having to learn the accordion that he had been playing tunes on since his grandfather began teaching him when he was six, but he has encouraged Aki on the guitar.

Both have played just once in South Africa, Henshaw on the Irish tour in 2016 and Aki a few years earlier with the Chiefs when they played Super Rugby against the Kings and the Stormers and both are looking forward to going back.

The Springboks haven’t played since beating England in the World Cup final but Henshaw doesn’t think that will have an impact.

“I don’t think so. All of their players have been playing whether it is in Europe, Japan or in South Africa. They have all been playing throughout the year. They will be fresher. I don’t know how many games they have played but they will be good. They will have a spring in their step. They will be fresh. And they will have a good training camp under their belts. They will be well up for it,” he added.

Robbie Henshaw and Bundee Aki are pictured together in the official Canterbury British & Irish Lions kit, available from Intersport Elverys stores and at

To celebrate the partnership, Intersport Elverys and Canterbury have teamed up to give young rugby fans a unique chance to train with their respective brand ambassadors, Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw. You can enter the competition HERE.

Aoife Dunne (6) Designs New Mayo GAA Alternate Jersey

Intersport Elverys, in conjunction with O’Neills, Mayo GAA & Mayo LGFA, are delighted to announce that Swinford youngster Aoife Dunne and her alternate jersey design has been chosen as the winner of our #YourTeamYourDesign competition.

The talented six year-old’s concept was picked amongst hundreds of entries in our competition and will now see her jersey worn by the Mayo senior stars for 2021.

Aoife will also receive a new set of O’Neills jerseys, for her school Milford N.S as part of the prize.

Juliana Dunne, Aoife’s mother, said it was a really proud moment for the family.

“We were really shocked,” she said. “We thought we were coming here today just as a finalist so this has been amazing. Aoife was only five years-old when she drew the jersey design, so we didn’t think she would have a chance of being the winner.

“So we’re delighted and it’s a hugely proud moment for our family and we’re so proud of Aoife.”

Mayo senior star Paddy Durcan and Mayo ladies star Clodagh McManamon presented Aoife with the new jersey at Intersport Elverys recently. Durcan added that he ‘loved’ the new jersey, while McManamon said: “The design is so cool, I can’t believe Aoife, who is only six years-old designed it.

“I’m really looking forward to wearing it for 2021.”

The Mayo senior footballers will wear Aoife’s jersey for the first time on Sunday at 1.45pm in MacHale Park, where they face Meath in the National Football League.

The new Mayo GAA Alternate jersey is now available from Intersport Elverys or O’Neills HERE.