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What is the best sport to help your mental health? 6 reasons why running is good for your mind and body

Running is good for your mental health

Running and mental health go together perfectly, like cheese and wine. Today, we’re going to sprint through the 6 fantastic reasons why running is not just a phenomenal physical activity, but also a magical mental health booster.

The number of mental health stories in the media has really gone up in recent years. Many experts blame COVID and the various lockdowns for putting unnecessary strain on our minds. Covid 19 did see many people taking up running for the first time as their only form of daily exercise. One of the side effects of running is not just better cardio vascular fitness levels, but it is also great for the mind.

Here are the 6 reasons our cardio experts found when looking into why running is so good for your mental health. Oh yeah, and if you like this article, we also have one about how to maintain your motivation for running.

Chase Away Mental Health Stress with Running

The first fabulous reason to hit the track is that running is your body’s own stress-busting superhero. As you sprint or jog, your body ramps up its production of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that acts as your brain’s stress-shielding knight. Running helps to fortify your brain to withstand stress, akin to how it strengthens your muscles. So, the next time you’re frazzled by that pesky pile-up of tasks, consider taking a breather with a quick run.

Run Towards a Boost in Self-Esteem

Here’s a fun fact: running is a super-charged confidence booster! As you lace up your sneakers and start to run regularly, you set personal goals and push yourself to reach them. Each goal you conquer, no matter how small, leads to a wonderful sense of accomplishment and, voila, an uptick in self-esteem. So, if you’re ever feeling down in the dumps, remember: running might just be the pick-me-up you need.

Running: Your Very Own Euphoria Elixir

Feeling blue? Running could be your ticket to turning that frown upside down. The magic lies in those delightful endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones your body releases during and after a run. These powerful chemicals are like nature’s own antidepressants, combating negative emotions and wrapping you in a cozy blanket of euphoria – the legendary “runner’s high.”

post-exercise insomnia

Run Your Way to a Razor-Sharp Mind

Here’s a brain teaser: how can you make your mind sharper, faster, and more creative? The answer, you guessed it, is running! The rhythmic activity stimulates the growth of new brain cells, improves memory, and enhances problem-solving skills. It’s like giving your grey matter a trip to the gym. So, for those looking for a brainpower boost, lacing up those running shoes could be the key.

Uncover Mindful Moments with Running

In the relentless hustle-bustle of modern life, finding moments of mindfulness can seem challenging. Enter: running! The repetitive motion, the rhythmic breathing, the gentle pounding of your feet against the ground – it all combines to create a state of moving meditation. This mindful zone allows you to reconnect with yourself and the world around you, offering a serene sanctuary amid the chaos.

Lace Up for Social Bonds

Running is not just a solo journey, it’s also a wonderful way to foster social connections. Whether you join a running club, participate in a fun-run, or share your progress with an online community, you’ll find an outpouring of support and camaraderie. These positive connections can be an incredible source of motivation and can significantly boost your mood and overall mental wellbeing.

So, there you have it: six fun-filled, fabulous reasons why running is a powerhouse for promoting mental health. Whether you’re an experienced marathoner, a newbie jogger, or someone just mulling over a healthier lifestyle, consider giving running a shot. Because, as it turns out, running might just be the secret ingredient to a happier, healthier mind! Remember, every journey begins

Andy Barr
the authorAndy Barr
Editorial Lead
Andy was late arriving into the world of fitness, running and training. He did not really take up regular gym going until he was in his late 30's. He lost over 7 stone in weight since starting and completed an olympic length triathlon in June 2018. He enjoys playing football, boxing and outdoor running.

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