Last Updated on 2 months by Isreal Olabanji DST RN
There is no doubt that running has a positive impact on your physical health, but several studies also show that it is quite beneficial for your mental well-being. Running is a very easy and convenient exercise, you don’t have to use any equipment, or go to the gym, simply running around the block can have incredible benefits.
Therefore, if you are feeling a little stressed because of work or any other reason, or you are a bit anxious, lace up your shoes and head out for a quick run. Today I will tell you the prominent ways in which running benefits your mind, so read on to learn more.
Running can help in the treatment of depression:
Depression is one of the most devastating mental disorders imaginable, and it can completely ruin a person’s life. Dealing with the symptoms of depression can be very challenging; however, studies have shown that running can be helpful.
In a recent study, experts tried to understand the effectiveness of running as a treatment for depression. The participants of the study were divided into three groups. The first group was the running group, the second received Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and the third received both.
It was found that running was almost as effective in reducing the symptoms of depression as CBT on its own, and when combined, the effects were even more impressive.
Furthermore, running in the sun can also get your body vitamin D, which is a very important vitamin for the brain, and its deficiency can increase the risk of depression.
Running can improve your memory and cognitive abilities:
Running does sharpen your cardio, but did you know that it can make you smarter as well. Studies have shown that both light jogging and high intensity sprinting can improve your ability to learn new things and retain new information.
According to research from 2007, which was published in the journal, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, running increases the development of certain brain-derived proteins and causes a neurotransmitter named catecholamine to be released.
These effects are heavily associated with the brain’s cognitive functions, and they can improve your memory as well.
Running protects your brain from the effects of aging:
Old age can sometimes be very cruel to a person’s mind. People start forgetting things and may even develop mental-deterioration disorders like dementia.
However, running can act as a buffer against the aging of the brain and keep your young, both physically and mentally.
According to a study from Times magazine, experts tried to learn whether physical exercises or playing brain games is better for an aging brain. It was discovered that physical exercises like running resulted in fewer signs of brain shrinkage and cognitive decline in the brain scans of elderly participants.
Running can help with stress management:
Stress is a common problem for many people these days. Whether you are a student, work at a job, own a business, or are retired, stress is a problem that stays with you, and it can have a very devastating impact on your mental and physical health.
Stress can also increase the risk of several mental disorders like depression and anxiety; therefore, managing it is essential. Running has proven to be a very effective stress management technique, as it can promote the release of feel-good hormones in your body.
Running also increases the concentration of norepinephrine in your brain, which is a chemical that helps in the moderation of your brain’s response to stress.
Using cannabis oil is another effective way to combat stress, and it can help in recovery from exercise-related injuries as well. Cannabis oil extracts are also called phoenix tears, and if you want to know more about them, learn how phoenix tears are made.
Running can help you sleep better:
Your sleep routine and the quality of sleep you get is directly impactful on both your mental and physical health. Sleep deprivation is a common problem, and many people need to use sleeping pills to get some rest.
However, you probably know that these pharmaceutical pills have tons of side effects, and over time, your body also develops a dependency on them. Therefore, you should opt for natural solutions.
Studies have shown that for some people, a moderate run can have the same effects as a sleeping pill, and it can even help people with insomnia sleep better.
Ideally, you should go for a run a few hours before your bedtime. When you are running, the core temperature of your body increases, and as it drops back to normal when you rest, it also signals your body to increase the production of melatonin, which is a sleep-inducing hormone.
Running can boost your self-esteem:
Many people suffer from low self-esteem, and it has a very negative impact on their lives in general. It can hurt their social lives and lead to a decline in their career as well. Furthermore, it can make it challenging for people to maintain healthy relationships.
However, running has been linked with higher self-esteem in people. In a recent study, adolescent girls were asked to run laps, and their performance was evaluated using a tool known as PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run). The girls who achieved higher scores showed higher self-esteem.
Furthermore, overweight kids who participated in the same study also experienced a lift in their self-esteem after running.
Running can help your mind recover from substance abuse:
Many people all around the world are affected by substance abuse. It is a very serious problem that has ruined many families and many lives.
Running can help people who are trying to recover from substance abuse and bring their mind back to normal. This effect is even true for drugs as extreme as meth. According to a study from 2012, which was published in the journal, Synapse, meth can decrease the production of serotonin and dopamine in the body, and it can damage their receptors as well. However, running normalizes the functions of these two essential neurotransmitters and helps in recovery from addiction and substance abuse.
Running can increase your motivation:
Many people suffer from a lack of motivation because of mental problems like chronic stress or depression. However, recent research shows that workers who exercise regularly are more productive and motivated than those who are not. Furthermore, they have higher energy levels as well.
Though it may be difficult to go to a gym because of your busy schedule, running around the block a couple of times is a very convenient and easy exercise. Therefore, start running to improve your motivation and productivity.
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