How Running Is Good For Your Mental Health
Please note: It's important to respect all government & WHO health guidelines and act responsibly for your own safety and that of others. Please consider this in relation to your individual circumstances, movement and interaction with others.
Getting out for a run can be difficult at the best of times, especially when you could be relaxing on your sofa, but increasing your heart rate is a great way to keep your mind in check for the long haul.
There are many ways in which you can get active but few are as convenient, accessible and effective as running. A regular effort can offer a turning point when you might feel there isn’t one for many different aspects of life. We have highlighted some common issues relating to mental health and how running can help towards you handling them.
When we exercise our body releases endorphins often referred to as ‘runner’s high’ that can offer a temporary lift from heavy negative feelings. While this is not a permanent cure, it does open a window of opportunity to see beyond those feelings and hope for more. Starting with a manageable, short and steady jog can often be the first step in the right direction to making positive permanent changes to your life.
Anxiety is something that many people experience but few talk about. Triggers are individual to the person, as are the ways in which it presents. Having the courage to go out for a run, in order to get those feel-good endorphins released, can help us process our thoughts in a considerably more constructive way.
Although everyone deals with stress at some point in life, for some, dealing with stressors can be more difficult than others and demanding situations may stack before we can deal with them properly. Being able to offer respite for the mind by going for a run can make things that once seemed like a big deal much more manageable.
Managing and maintaining a healthy weight can be a real challenge for some people. Whether losing weight or gaining weight, running, along with the right nutrition, can help stabilise an otherwise unbalanced appetite and subconsciously encourage us to choose more suitable food options.
Many of us end the day mentally exhausted, but not physically. Running regularly - even as little as 10 minutes a day - can help tire us out, allowing body and mind to get a better quality night’s sleep and help us wake up feeling fresher in the mornings.
It is important, however, that you figure out when the best time is for you. If you know that a run will pump you up for the day, then try to fit in during the morning. On the other hand, if you know a run will leave you exhausted, do it before bedtime so you can succumb to your sleepiness with a peaceful mind.
Try to remember that although getting regular exercise is great for you, it isn’t a miracle cure and professional advice should always be taken into consideration.
About the Author:
Charlotte Fish - Outdoor Expert
Charlotte discovered her passion for the outdoors in her early teens and has never looked back since. Her pursuit of outdoor activities has taken her all over the world but she truly believes there is no place like home.