We are aware of all the physical benefits of running and many people run or exercise to lose weight or develop muscles. Very few people focus on the psychological benefits of running and exercising.
The intension of most people behind exercising is to look attractive but no one talks about how running or exercising can benefit their mental health.
Many studies have proven that doing intensive physical activity increases blood flow in the body which helps to release chemical called endorphins which gives a feeling of well-being. Endorphins help runners to achieve runners high.
How Running And Exercising Enhances Your Mental Health?
Most people exercise for improving their body posture, hence very few are aware of how running or any intensive exercise will benefit their mental health.
The endorphins which are released in your body help you to light up your mood. But other than improving your mood running and exercise also improves your attitude and outlook towards life.
It brings that confidence in you and eliminates negative thoughts from your mind.
Let us dive deep into how running benefits your mental health.
- Running Boosts Self Esteem.
- Running Helps You Cope With Stress.
- Running Improves Your Mood.
- Preventing Cognitive Decline.
- Helps To Overcome Depression And Anxiety.
- Increase Productive.
- Boosts Creative Thinking.
Running Boosts Self Esteem.
Running is one of those sports which boost your self-esteem. A runner builds self-esteem by regularly running and jogging and keep beating his own best.
If a runner dedicatedly commits to a plan and keep trying to improve their run by overcoming a mental obstacle then they boost their self-esteem.
Running consistently helps you to get better with every footstrike. A regular runner gets a real perception of fitness and by experiencing positive physical changes their self-esteem is boosted.
If you are training for a long-distance marathon, you set a goal. As you increase your capability to run that extra mile, you get the feeling of accomplishments which boost your self-esteem.
Running Helps You Cope With Stress.
Stress can come due to many reasons like family, friends, work etc. Running gives you time to think or escape from the stress for a while.
Studies have proven that running is one of the best ways to deal with stress.
Running can control stress and enhances your ability to deal with stress and existing tension.
While running your body releases a chemical, called norepinephrine which helps you to moderate the brain’s response to stress.
Running Improves Your Mood
Running, jogging or any other intense exercise which increases blood flow in the body releases endorphins in your body which helps to reduce pain and you feel good.
Endorphins act as pain killers and it elevates your mood by reducing depression and anxiety.
Studies have found that a small 15-20 minutes jog or few aerobics exercises can help you to release endorphins which will uplift your mood.
Preventing Cognitive Decline
Running certainly doesn’t cure Alzheimer but it may boost the brain’s ability to memorise and minimises the chance of cognitive decline which starts at age 45.
While running or exercising, chemicals are produced in the brain which helps you to boost your memory and learning ability for a longer period.
Research has sown that running affects our brain positively. Runners are observed thinking clearly and memorising things faster.
Helps To Overcome Depression And Anxiety.
Running or aerobic exercises release chemical name endorphins which reduces the pain and makes you feel good.
This gives the dopamine hit and makes you feel happy.
Studies have shown that people doing regular exercise usually don’t get depressed or have an anxiety attack.
Chemicals released during and exercising helps you to keep your mind calm.
Even yoga and meditation is considered as one of the best ways to fight depression and anxiety by staying calm.
People who exercise regularly are more active and responsive than compared to people who don’t exercise.
Activeness in your body increases your productivity as you take quick decisions and you act quickly.
Boost Creative Thinking.
A short run to free your legs and body will boost your creative thinking.
If you are struggling to get that one brilliant idea then rather staring at your desktop you should try going for a short run/walk. A short run/walk will make you active and will boost your brain’s thinking ability.
Many creative people critically think while walking to come up with an amazing idea.
How Much Do I Need To Exercise To Improve My Mental Health?
After reading the above benefits of exercise on mental health, you most probably must be thinking of this question.
Well, the answer to this is simple. You don’t need to workout 2-3 hours a day like an athlete. You just have to exercise for 20-30 minutes to experience the benefits of exercise on mental health.
Whenever you feel depressed or stressed due to some reason, try going for walk or do basic 15 minutes cardio workout or stretch a bit to lift up your mood.
An individual who exercises for at least 15 minutes a day will always be more energetic and will have a healthy mind than who never removes time for exercise.
Studies have also proved that running 15 minutes a day reduces the chances of depression by 26 per cent. You just have to remove 15 minutes of your day to run. You can run anywhere you want, outdoor or even on a treadmill.
More than 1/4th of adults across the world do not get enough exercise. Therefore, you should first identify what type of exercise you love to do. It can be anything like running, cycling, aerobics workout or simply playing sports.
Then set a realistic goal and dedicatedly try to achieve it. Do not get stressed to achieve your fitness goal, take your time and stay consistent.
Here is a short video explanation
We all should be aware of how running and other aerobics exercises benefit our mental health.
This awareness has to be spread among all fitness enthusiast. Because the majority of people believe that exercise is for physical fitness.
These days traditional gyms sell this idea of physical fitness and ignore holistic fitness which also includes mental health.
So next time when you will plan your fitness plan, do consider how your exercises are positively affecting your mental health.