Five Mental Health Benefits of Running

Exercise is heavily tethered to mental health.

Have you ever noticed that when you stick to a regular exercise regimen, your mental health improves? Taking care of the body and the mind go hand in hand. Your overall health is comprised of both physical and mental health, and you need both to be truly healthy.

Running is one of the easiest ways to maintain your physical fitness, because you can do it anywhere, for any amount of time, with little preparation, besides stretching.

Running is also an easy habit to create, because all it takes is 33 days of regular running, and your brain will hard-wire it as a regular habit.

READ MORE: Healthy Hobbies: Cycling Versus Running

Don’t take my word for it though. Here are give ways that running can be great for your mental health:

Stress Relief- Any kind of exercise is great for stress relief. Not only does it get your blood pumping, but it forces you to focus on your body, taking the focus off your mind. Your stress starts to dissipate the moment you stop thinking about it, and running is great for that.

Introspection- A huge component of mental health is introspection. Too many of us go through life on auto-pilot, not really considering the consequences of, or reasons for, our actions. Running is a great time to mentally assess your life and your actions.

Self-Esteem- Running regularly can help build confidence and self-esteem. Not only will you prove that you can stick to something, but your body will start to look better, and your overall health and stamina will improve.

Productivity- Once you start running regularly you will feel the need to become more productive overall. Any regular habit can have this effect, but running works especially well because it creates natural energy that you will then want to burn on being productive in other areas of your life.

Creativity- Running is great for brainstorming. No matter who you are, you should have some kind of hobby that allows you to brainstorm creatively. Just don’t forget to jot your ideas down afterwards so you don’t forget!

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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