For many people, running is a hobby in addition to something they do to benefit their health. As a result, it’s easy to push it to the back burner when life starts to get hectic and stressful. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed with work and family life, carving out a small part of your day to get a run in could make all the difference. It can help you to feel more relaxed than anxious and ready to tackle what you’ve got on your plate.

This has definitely proven true for me, which is why I make it a priority to go for a run first thing in the morning. Doing so helps me to clear my mind, make a mental checklist of everything I want to tackle work-wise that day, rather than having my run be another thing on that growing list that stresses me out as the day goes on while I’m feeling frazzled. And the science agrees — according to Harvard Health Publishing, running for just 15 minutes a day can boost your mood and reduce the risk of major depression.

While I love to step outside completely unplugged and with my own thoughts, there are plenty of things you can do to get out there if you need more motivation. If you prefer to jam out to music, listen to a podcast, or be guided by a workout on the ASICS Runkeeper app, those things can totally help to get you in better spirits. Studies have also shown that increased levels of post-run endorphins contribute to improved mood levels.

So, if you find that everything life is throwing at you is getting you down or having you feeling like you can’t handle it all, consider taking that 15 minutes, or even an hour, to help center yourself and your priorities. You’ll likely find that making it a regular habit could be the glue that holds your level of calmness together.

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Please note: This blog is intended for informational purposes only, and 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 providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.