Why Running Is Good For Mental Health
Running is most often thought of as a physical activity, but it can also has massive impact on mental health.
Numerous studies have shown that running can have various benefits for mental wellbeing, including reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
Athletes have long been aware of the benefits of running for mental health.
For years now, we have been sold the idea that running is the ultimate workout for both body and mind.
Many movies released in the nineties/noughties portrayed running as the go-to activity for not only acquiring a washboard stomach, toned legs and a tight butt but also for working through any and every problem, be it professional or personal.
State Of Mind: Running And Mental Health
It is now widely accepted that there is a strong link between physical and mental health.
Exercise, in general, has been shown to boost mood, self-esteem and confidence, as well as reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
Running, in particular, has been found to be an effective form of exercise for improving mental health.
A study by the University of Hong Kong found that running can significantly reduce levels of fatigue, insomnia and depression.
The research showed that just 30 minutes of running three times a week can have a significant impact on mental health.
Another study, this time from the University of Michigan, found that running can improve brain function and help to stave off Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
The study found that running increases the level of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
So, what is it about running that makes it so good for mental health?
One of the main reasons why running is so beneficial for mental health is that it is an aerobic exercise.
This means that it requires the use of large muscle groups and raises your heart rate to a level where you are working hard but can still maintain a conversation.
Aerobic exercise has been shown to have a number of benefits for mental health, including reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
Social Benefits Of Running
Another reason why running is good for mental health is that it can be a very social activity.
Running with friends or in a group can help to improve mental wellbeing by providing social support and increasing levels of endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ hormone.
Running can also be a great way to meet new people and make friends.
There are many running groups and clubs that you can join, or you could simply start running with a friend or family member.
It adds another dimension to an activity that could otherwise be classed as "solo" and, as we all know, human beings are social animals!
Is Running Right For Me?
If you’re thinking about taking up running to improve your mental health, it’s important to remember that not everyone enjoys running and it’s not for everyone.
It’s important to find an activity that you enjoy and that fits in with your lifestyle. If you hate running, then there’s no point in forcing yourself to do it!
That being said, if you are looking for a way to improve your mental health, then running could be the perfect activity for you.
It has numerous proven benefits and is a great way to get some exercise. Just make sure to start slowly and build up gradually.
And, most importantly, listen to your body. If you start to feel pain or discomfort, then stop and rest.
Does Running Help With Anxiety And Depression?
Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health disorders in the world, and running has been shown to be an effective treatment for both.
A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that running can reduce symptoms of depression by up to 30%.
The study looked at a group of adults with mild to moderate depression and found that those who started a running program showed significant improvements in their symptoms after just six weeks.
Similarly, a study published in the journal Anxiety, Stress, and Coping found that running can help to reduce anxiety levels.
The study looked at a group of students who were struggling with exam anxiety and found that those who started a running program had significantly lower levels of anxiety than those who didn’t.
So, if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, then starting a running program could be a great way to help improve your mental health.
How long does running improve mental health?
The effects of running on mental health are not permanent, but they are long-lasting. A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that the benefits of running for depression can last for up to six months.
Does everyone benefit from running?
No, not everyone benefits from running. It’s important to find an activity that you enjoy and that fits in with your lifestyle. If you hate running, then there’s no point in forcing yourself to do it!
Is walking or running better for mental health?
Both walking and running can be beneficial for mental health, but it depends on the person. Some people may prefer walking because it’s a lower-impact activity, while others may prefer running because it’s more aerobic. Ultimately, the best exercise for mental health is the one that you enjoy and that you can stick to in the long-term.
How often should I go running?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the individual. However, most experts recommend that adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. This equates to around 20 minutes of running per day, five days per week.
Why does running clear your mind?
There are a number of reasons why running can help to clear your mind. First, it can help to take your focus away from your thoughts and worries. Second, it can help to increase levels of endorphins, which are hormones that have mood-boosting effects. Finally, it can help to give you some time to yourself in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Does jogging lead to a positive mental attitude?
Yes, jogging can lead to a positive mental attitude. A study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that joggers had a more positive outlook on life than non-joggers. The study also found that joggers were more likely to see themselves as capable and competent individuals.
Does running increase serotonin?
Yes, running can increase serotonin levels. Serotonin is a hormone that has mood-boosting effects, and it’s thought that exercise can help to increase serotonin levels in the brain.
Running is a great way to improve your mental health, and it has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. If you’re struggling with either of these conditions, then starting a running program could be the perfect solution for you. Not everyone enjoys running, so find an activity that you enjoy and that fits in with your lifestyle. Ultimately, the best exercise for mental health is the one that you will stick to in the long-term.