parkrun turned 13 years old in 2018! To celebrate #parkrun13, we’ve got 13 reasons why you should join your local parkrun

1. It can make you happier

Physical exercise releases lots of lovely endorphins to help boost your mood and protect your brain from stress-induced depression, say researchers at Sweden’s Karolinksa Institute.

2. It’s on for 52 weeks of the year

With parkruns every single Saturday, you’ll have something to aim for each week – your fellow parkrunners can help keep you motivated in the colder months, too.

3. It can help your heart stay healthy

Running for just five or ten minutes a day “is associated with markedly reduced risks of death from cardiovascular disease.” says the Journal of American College of Cardiology.

4. It keeps your bones strong

Weight-bearing exercises like walking and running help toughen your bones up.

5. It can help you live longer

A study in the journal Preventative Medicine shows that high intensity exercise for five days a week can keep your cells nine years younger than your actual age.

6. It can help you sleep

Half an hour of exercise in the morning can help you sleep better at night, according to research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

7. It can help beat those winter colds

Moderate cardio activity can help ease nasal congestion. Some evidence shows that increasing body temperature through exercise also helps combat bugs and circulate disease-fighting antibodies.

8. It’s a stress-buster

Even gentle running can help with a brain function called neurogenesis. Studies have found running promotes this process in the hippocampus, which has the effect of reducing stress.

9. It’s all over the UK

With over 450 parkruns – including plenty in fantastic locations – you could even try a different event every week and discover places you’ve never seen.

10. It can earn you rewards

Did you know that you can earn Vitality points from each parkrun you take part in as a runner or volunteer?

11. You’ll meet new people

With over 100,000 parkrunners every week, you’re bound to make new friends. Not least because research also shows that outdoor exercise can help build your self-confidence.

12. You can involve the whole family

Anyone can join a parkrun, whatever your age or ability, so it’s also ideal for kids aged 4-14 – the older ones can join in the adult run, while the younger ones have their own 2k event.

13. It’s free!

Need we say more?

Looking for a scenic parkrun to get you started? Try one of these 7 scenic parkruns for autumn.