Nine Ways Running Can Benefit Your Mental Health

Running can help boost your energy and mood, which can make it a great way to start your day feeling optimistic and charged before getting to work.

Running is often touted as a sport and activity that can have immense benefits on your physical health. And while that’s certainly true, it also deserves recognition for how it can positively impact your mental health and overall outlook too. So, if you’re feeling uneasy or stressed, tighten those shoelaces and get out the door. You’ll be surprised to see how running works wonders for your mental health.

Running as a stressbuster

In today’s day and age with the pressure of feeling like we need to be “on” all the time, it’s easy to feel consumed by your work life, which can lead to overwhelming feelings of stress and inadequacy. Running even just 15 minutes a day can help you take your mind off worries and improve your reaction to stressful situations. It can make you feel motivated and ready to tackle the day with clarity and confidence.

Combat symptoms of depression and anxiety with running

David Linden, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine says, “Exercise has a dramatic antidepressive effect. It blunts the brain’s response to physical and emotional stress.” Running is known to have similar effects to taking medication if you’re feeling anxious. It can release feel-good endorphins from your body improving both your brain and heart health. 

Read more: How Running Helps Fight Anxiety and Unlock Mental Clarity

Running promotes productivity

In addition to achieving a positive mindset, running regularly can also help you to maintain that positive mindset, allowing you to approach your day in a good mental place. By doing so, you’ll be able to stay productive and focused on the tasks at hand. Also, running makes you feel more pumped and prepared for situations that come your way. The adrenaline rush you get after a healthy run is what energizes you to stay active throughout the day.

Running to boost your mood

Remember the famous movie quote, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy?” It is safe to say that anyone who truly enjoys running would agree with that sentiment. Just 15 to 20 minutes of physical activity such as running can boost your energy and mood, which can make it a great way to start your day feeling optimistic and charged before getting to work.

Read more: Can Running Improve my Mood?

Running improves confidence

With the physical benefits, you may reap from running, it’s only natural that you’ll likely have improved body image and self-esteem. And if that’s the case, own it. Feeling good about yourself can only help to keep yourself committed to an activity that you love and does so much good for your overall well-being.

Read More: Ten Running Benefits You Feel Within a Week

Makes creative juices flow

Running is great for oiling the right side of your brain and getting your creative juices flowing. Running helps make room for your mind to think freely and openly. It can help get rid of thoughts cluttering your mind and make it wander as you hit the road. Studies show that running produces a chemical called dopamine in our body which is most often associated with creativity. So, if you’re facing writer’s block or are unable to come up with innovative ideas to organize your closet, step out for a run.

Sleep better after running

Don’t we all crave a good night’s sleep after a long day at work? Research indicates that incorporating running into your regular routine can contribute to a healthy sleep cycle. A night of restful and sound sleep can help develop brain cells better, relax your body, and improve your mental health. Engaging in vigorous exercises adds to the quality of your sleep and in some cases, may help cure sleeping disorders such as insomnia.

Running sharpens memory

If there’s anything that can compete with almonds in sharpening your memory, it is running. A study by Cambridge University Press reports that a healthy routine with regular exercise increases the volume of the hippocampus, a key part of the brain’s memory. Running can strengthen our brain muscles over time and improve our memory and thinking skills.

Running calms down the mind

Running works like meditation. Sweating it out helps you relax your brain muscles and feel lighter. You tend to feel less worked up or irritated after a good run. Running relaxes your body and brain at the same time. It gives you peace of mind and also helps you stay calm and with a fresh mind. 

When your head feels heavy or too occupied, running may not feel like the best option but it really is. Running can make you relieve stress, think better, feel better, and can serve as an oasis of serenity amidst all the chaos going around. Don’t think twice before putting your running gear on and hitting the road. If you want a push, the ASICS Runkeeper app is here to give you just that. The app has Guided Workouts, goal-setting features, and more to propel the runner in you. Get started today.

Please note: This blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.