Six Mental Health Benefits of Running

We all know that running improves physical health. It maintains your cardiovascular health, builds muscles, and improves your stamina. But do you know that it improves your mental health too? Running makes your heart pumps blood faster, pushing it through the body at a quicker rate. When the heart pumps blood at an accelerated pace, our brain releases two feel-good chemicals endorphins and endocannabinoids. These chemicals have the same effects on our body that THC, marijuana’s mood-altering chemical has, giving us the “natural-high.”

So, it will not be wrong to say that running actively can benefit your mental well-being. Some of the running benefits are listed below:

Stress Relief

People dealing with stress and depression must run as it controls pressure and helps one deal with mental strain. A chemical known as norepinephrine is produced while running that helps the brain to manage stress.

Boosts up Memory

The process of producing new brain cells, neurogenesis, gets activated you start running. New brain cells are produced, which improves your memory. Runners have shown significant improvement in cognitive flexibility as well because running prevents degeneration of the Hippocampus, part of a brain that has a significant role in learning.

Boosts to Self-Esteem and Confidence

It is seen that runners have better self-esteem as it allows them to defeat trial after trial, thus making them stronger and confident. When you feel secure and capable of crossing obstacles, you feel empowered and capable of facing life’s obstacles.

Improves Your Mood

By now, you must have understood that running has a positive influence on your attitude. The brain releases the ‘happy’ hormones during the run that brings happiness and improves your mood. People dealing with depression are advised running and exercising in their daily routine to alleviate symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders.

Increases Productivity

Sometimes, you feel distracted and do not show the productivity you are expected to show. Making running and jogging a daily habit can increase your productivity and makes you capable of focusing more on your work with high energy as compared to people who do not run.

Running is meditation

Meditation is not only practicing yoga on a yoga mat. It can be done on running tracks too. Take a break from your busy life and run to see how refreshed and insightful you would feel after running just a mile. If you are working and steep for you to run in the morning, you can squeeze some time in your lunch break and run a mile to feel the difference.

You don’t need to be a marathon runner to enjoy healthy mental health. Even a small running in your daily routine can improve your overall health. So, next time you struggle to get out of bed, think of the positive running benefits you can have on your body and mind.

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Article Author Details

Malia Swift