If you’re a fan of Usain Bolt or sprinting in general, you’ll enjoy today’s article because we’re going to be looking at the 16 amazing benefits of sprinting.
When people think of running, they think of leisurely jogs around the park or block, or perhaps a boring and monotonous spell on the treadmill.
In truth, running can be as intense, or as relaxed as you would like.
Generally, though, when people do take up running, they’ll steer clear of sprinting, due to the fact that it is such a high-intensity form of exercise and because it’s just so darned difficult as well.
They may want to re-think this, however, especially when you consider the fact that sprinting offers numerous health and wellness benefits.
What Is Sprinting?
When people think of sprinting, they tend to assume that sprinting is just running, and in a way, it is, although there are some basic fundamental differences associated with sprinting and with running, which we’ll get to later.
If you want a basic definition of sprinting, it is basically running over a short distance for a short duration of time, in bursts of explosive speed, at near 100% max effort.
Sprinting is basically a form of exercise whereby the participants will run as fast as the body will allow them to run until fatigue inevitably sets in.
Sprinting is of course a key part of the Olympic Games, in fact, many would argue that the 100-meter sprint is the most popular and most anticipated event in the games, thanks in part to Olympians such as Usain Bolt, who holds the world record for the 100-meter sprint and the 200-meter sprint, coming in at 9.58 seconds and 19.30 seconds respectively.
So, What Are The Benefits Of Sprinting?
From fat-burning to time-saving, here’s a look at 16 amazing benefits that will have you dusting off your running shoes in no time at all.
Check them out and see what you think.
Benefits #1: Increased Longevity
Nobody knows what’s around the corner, and while we can’t guarantee that you’ll live a long and prosperous life, we can certainly help you to maximize your chances of doing exactly that.
Sprinting is a great form of exercise for the body that has been found to help increase your longevity by making you healthier.
In simple terms, because sprinting is so good for you, it makes you healthier, so you’ll be more likely to live longer.
Benefits #2: Anti-aging Benefits
Whilst we can’t physically slow down the hands of time through sprinting, what we can do instead is slow down the effects of aging via sprinting.
Regular sprinting sessions will help boost circulation and give you more energy, they’ll increase your metabolism, and they’ll improve your type-2 muscle fibers, better known as fast-twitch muscle fibers.
As we grow older, these muscle fibers can atrophy and waste away.
Sprinting helps to slow down this process as it recruits more fast-twitch muscle fibers, which we’ll be learning more about a little later on.
Benefits #3: Saves Time
Sprinting is not easy.
It requires a lot of energy and it is very physically demanding.
One of the main sprint benefits is the fact that it helps to save you time when you’re looking to exercise and burn calories, without wasting time.
No matter how fit you are, it is physically impossible to sprint constantly for numerous minutes, yet sprinting in short and controlled bursts will still yield similar results to moderate or low-intensity cardio.
The added bonus, of course, is that if you don’t have much time to spare, sprinting is the perfect way to work out and save time in the process.
Benefits #4: Burn Calories
Despite the fact that a typical sprinting training session will last less than 20 minutes on average, in that amount of time, due to the fact that the exercise is so physically demanding you’ll find yourself burning off hundreds of calories.
For people looking to lose weight, this is very useful because you could potentially burn anything from 300 – to 500 calories per training session.
Now, please don’t take those figures too literally as it will depend on your genetics, and indeed on just how intense you train, and for how long as well.
Benefits #5: Lose Weight
Okay, technically when talking about the benefits, we could have spoken about the weight loss benefits when talking about calorie burn, but we’re including them now instead.
If you want to lose weight, sprinting is an ideal exercise for a variety of different reasons.
To begin with, it’ll burn calories as mentioned, meaning that you’ll lose weight in the process.
On top of that, though, thanks to a process known as the ‘afterburn effect’ you’ll find that your metabolism temporarily increases because of the exercise, so for several hours after training, you’ll find yourself burning more calories than usual.
Combine these things together, and you have the ultimate recipe for weight loss.
Benefits #6: It’s Fun
As we touched upon earlier, as beneficial as jogging on a treadmill for an hour or so can be, it’s safe to say that it’s hardly the most enjoyable or exciting activity to do.
Sprinting, however, is different. With sprinting, you perform short bursts of exercise that typically last anything from 10 – 30 seconds on average, before catching your breath.
Similar to High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short, as you are constantly alternating and switching the activity up, it makes sprinting fun.
Difficult, but fun nonetheless.
Benefits #7: Sprinting Helps You To Sleep Better
Another of the awesome sprint benefits that people often overlook is the fact that sprinting is a great exercise for people that are struggling to sleep at night.
Sprinting is physically demanding, which means that you are expending energy when you do it.
The more energy you burn off, the more tired you will feel at night and when you’re tired, you’ll find that you get to sleep much easier.
Not only that, but sprinting will also promote restful REM sleep, so you’ll sleep for longer without waking up or being disturbed.
Benefits #8: Good For The Back
When it comes to exercise, people often assume that most forms of exercise are bad for the back, but that is simply not the case.
Experts have found evidence to suggest that sprinting is actually very beneficial for the back, and your posture, meaning that sprinting will help to loosen up stiff back muscles, promote good posture, and strengthen the back in general.
For people dealing with back issues, back pain, neck pain, and bad posture in general, sprinting is actually a very beneficial exercise.
Benefits #9: Increase Your Explosive Power
Earlier on, we talked about how sprinting helps to increase your fast-twitch muscle fibers when now, we’re going to elaborate on that.
Type-2 muscle fibers are known as fast-twitch muscle fibers, and they are responsible for generating more explosive speed and power.
Sprinters, for example, need to recruit more of these muscle fibers because the short burst of explosive power that they generate will enable the sprinters to run faster, just like a turbo fitted to a car enables it to generate more power as it accelerates.
Not only will this help you to run faster, however, it will also enable you to jump higher as well, and to generate more power with your legs, so kicking sports, or leg exercises such as squats and leg press in the gym, will also improve thanks to the many benefits in regards to fast-twitch muscle fibers.
Benefits #10: Improve Aerobic Capacity
It turns out, though, that sprinting is actually very beneficial when it comes to improving your aerobic capacity.
This is why a lot of endurance athletes and marathon runners will actually train with HIIT training and sprinting in the lead-up to an event.
Being able to utilize more oxygen more efficiently for exercise means that your athletic performance will improve massively so you’ll get more from your workouts.
Benefits #11: Improved Athletic Performance
On the subject of improved athletic performance, another benefit that people often forget is the fact that sprinting will help improve athletic performance in general.
Sprinting will not only make you a better sprinter, but it will also make you a better athlete in general.
Football players, for example, will work on their 40-yard dash, while soccer players will incorporate sprint training into their training routines to help them track back when defending, or forwards during the attack.
In fact, there are many different sports that can benefit from sprinting, so go ahead and start doing more sprints and watch just how much your athletic performance will improve.
Benefits #12: Try To Break A Record
Okay, let’s be real here, there is a very, very, very, very, very strong chance that you won’t break Usain Bolt’s 9.58 second World Record for the 100-meter sprint, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t try, right?
Usain Bolt has been dubbed ‘the fastest man alive for a reason, and in all honesty, we believe that his record set back in 2009 will stand for many decades to come.
He was a special athlete but having that benchmark gives you something to aim for.
Okay, perhaps training for a world record is impractical, but how about training to beat your own record?
Set a timer, run a 100-meter sprint, record your time, and then come back and see just how much time you can shave off your previous best.
This not only gives you something to aim for, but it also makes it fun and adds a competitive element to things.
Benefits #13: Meet New People
All over the globe, there are a variety of different athletic tracks and clubs, all offering people the chance to sign up and take part in a variety of activities.
Sprinting is a very popular activity and if you do go ahead and join up, you’ll find that you will likely meet a variety of different people who will support you, encourage you, and perhaps even become your friend.
If you are looking to expand your social bubble, get out and about, and meet new people, sprinting could give you the perfect opportunity to do exactly that.
As an added bonus, you’ll instantly have something in common with the other members so you’ll have something to chat about.
Benefits #14: Improved Mental Health
Mental health is so important in this day and age, which is why exercise is so useful.
Another key benefit is the fact that it is the perfect activity for people who are looking to improve their mental health.
Whether you suffer from bad mental health, or just want to feel happier and more relaxed, sprinting is perfect.
Sprinting gets you out of the house, helps boost circulation, and increases the production of endorphins which will improve your mood and make you feel better.
On top of that, it’ll also help you to sleep better, and sleep is also very important for our mood in general.
Benefits #15: Stronger Immune System
Right now, you certainly don’t need us to tell you that a strong immune system is important, but did you know that sprinting could help?
Sprinting, and exercise, in general, have been found to boost T-cell and white blood cell productions, which form key components of your immune system.
The stronger and healthier your immune system is, the healthier you will be and the less likely you’ll be to become sick.
Benefits #16: Stress Relief And Confidence
Okay, we could have tied these benefits of sprinting into the section on mental health, but as they’re so important and also have their own standalone benefits, we’re including them here instead.
Sprinting is a great activity for stress relief thanks to the endorphins and because it doesn’t allow you to worry about your stressors while exercising because it’s so physically demanding.
In terms of confidence, as you get fitter and healthier, you’ll look leaner and slimmer, and will therefore look and feel much more confident in your own skin.
The more confident you are, the better you’ll feel and the more productive you’ll become as a result.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Spriting Vs Running:
Okay, so, as we mentioned earlier how sprinting was a type of running, but there were several key differences, but we didn’t look at what these differences were.
Well, now we will. Here’s a quick look at some key differences between sprinting and between running.
Sprinting vs running, or jogging is different in that when you’re sprinting you are running at near 100% max effort because you’re running as fast as you possibly can.
Because you are running so fast, you recruit more fast-twitch muscle fibers and you run out of energy quicker.
With conventional running or jogging, the idea is to dictate the pace and to pace yourself because you’re running for much longer distances and for a much longer duration of time.
When you’re sprinting, you’ll manage anything from 10 seconds to 30 seconds on average, before you need to stop and catch your breath.
When you’re jogging, you will run at a slow and steady pace for anything between 20 minutes to an hour on average, or even longer still if you’re taking part in an endurance event.
When running or sprinting, you’ll still use the same muscles, which come in the form of the quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, core, and hip flexors.
The key difference, however, is that unlike sprinting, you don’t recruit anywhere near as many fast-twitch muscle fibers.
Fast-twitch muscle fibers are responsible for generating explosive speed and power, which is what is needed with sprinting, rather than jogging.
When jogging, you’ll recruit slow-twitch muscle fibers which assist with stabilization during aerobic exercise, and are much more resistant to fatigue, which is why you can exercise for so long before fatigue and muscle cramping begins to set in.
As far as cardiovascular health goes, despite sprinting still being hugely beneficial, you do tend to get more benefits from jogging as it is more sustained.
How Many Calories Does Sprinting Burn?
The amount of calories burned while spriting varies depending on how fast you run. A person who runs at a pace of 5 mph burns about 100 calories per minute. If they run at a pace of 10 mph, they would burn about 200 calories per minute.
How To Sprint Faster?
Warm-ups are exercises done before any intense workout. You should do them at least 10 minutes before starting your run. Your warm-up helps prepare your body for the activity ahead. A good warm-up includes stretching, dynamic movements, and some light cardio.
Hydrate yourself before running. Drink water about 30 minutes before you start. If you're going to be running longer than 20 miles, drink even more. Water keeps your muscles working properly and prevents cramps.
You need proper shoes for running. Running shoes have special cushioning systems that help protect your feet and ankles. Look for shoes that fit well and feel comfortable.
Breathe deeply while you run. Deep breaths keep your lungs full of oxygen and make sure you don't get out of breath.
Eat something before you run. Try eating a banana or a piece of toast. These foods give you energy and prevent muscle cramping.
Stretching is a great way to loosen tight muscles and joints. Stretches should be performed after warming up and before running.
So, that brings us to a close.
As you can see, the many benefits of sprinting are well documented and if you decide to take up sprinting and really give it your all, you’ll find that the benefits it provides will be well worth it.
So, what are you waiting for?
Grab your training gear, lace up your running shoes, and head out for some sprinting.
Trust us, you won’t regret it.