Running Towards Better Mental Well-being
When you put on your trainers, you’re probably hitting out for a run for the sake of cardiovascular health, muscle building, or maybe just to make up for a slice of dessert. However, have you ever thought about how it affects your mind? It turns out that hitting the road isn’t doing wonders just for your body but for your mind as well!
Running is an excellent way of managing stress and can help you to boost your body’s ability to handle any existing tension you may have in your head. During exercise like running, your body releases a chemical known as norepinephrine. It moderates the brain’s response to stress.
The number of people with vitamin D deficiency is no joke! Being deficient in this crucial vitamin can lead to many health problems, including bone problems. Ensuring that you run outside on a sunny day can help your body to produce more of this essential vitamin. Vitamin D deficiency has links to depression, and so spending an hour or two in the sun will go a long way in helping you prevent the chances of falling into depression.
Now we aren’t claiming that running is a cure for Alzheimer’s, but what we do know is that running helps to boost the brain’s ability to slow cognitive decline, which naturally begins after you pass your mid-forties. Running provides a boost in brain chemicals that can prevent degeneration of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a portion of the brain believed to control learning and memory. Running between the ages of 25 and 45 mainly tends to boost the prevention of cognitive decline as you age.
Sense of Calm
The body releases these chemicals as we run sure to do a whole lot for our mental health, don’t they! The chemicals also happen to help induce a sense of calm and soothes anxiety. It doesn’t matter whether you are on a treadmill, a trail, or a track – merely getting your entire body in motion helps you face tough times better and with a frame of mind that is more calm and collected.
Brain Power Boost
Cardiovascular workouts help to promote the creation of new brain cells! This improves your brain performance all around, which includes decision making and higher thinking as well as learning. So if you’re feeling bogged down by a project that’s beating you up, or a test you are preparing for, or anything mentally taxing, know that a good run can help you earn some much-needed new brain cells!
Mental health is highly dependant on good sleep. People struggling with mental health problems tend to also struggle with sleep problems, and in some cases, disruption of sleep or being unable to fall asleep can even trigger spells or conditions. Running is something of a natural sleeping pill if you will. The body raises it’s core temperature when you go out running, and once it colls down, your body has a natural signal that it is bedtime! Sweet dreams!
Increase in Productivity
Mental block? Run it off. The solution to your issues could be just a good run around the block away! Research has revealed that people who make time to bust a workout frequently every week are more productive in the workplace than those who are less active. Of course, this extends to everything that you do – you will enjoy making better use of your time and getting more done in less time! Who doesn’t want more time to enjoy other things in the day, right?
If you rely on your creativity in life, then you will significantly benefit from a good run. It boosts your creativity for up to two hours afterward! So no more staring at the walls or waiting for words to miraculously appear on blank pages – slip on your trainers and get running! Think of running as your natural way of hitting the ‘refresh’ button of your mind!
Runners know about the runner’s high for ages. It’s that amazing feeling when your heart starts pumping harder to push your blood throughout your body faster than usual. Eventually, you are on a natural high when your body releases endorphins! So, in addition to all of the listed benefits, you could simply get high on your next workout – naturally!
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