Unlocking Happiness Through Running: A Journey to Mental Wellness Admin February 7, 2024

Unlocking Happiness Through Running: A Journey to Mental Wellness

Sometimes running gets a bad rap, leaving many people wondering if this form of exercise offers health benefits. The great news is, both mental and physical health experts agree that running is crazily good for us. It maintains your heart health and can sculpt your body. Most importantly, it helps boost your mental health, lowering your risks of depression, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and more. Avid runners confess that running is their best source of real happiness. Let’s see if it’s true…..

1.    Running boosts your brain power

Running stimulates the formation of new nerve cells and blood vessels within your brain, keeping it sharp as you age. It improves cognitive function by increasing glycogen stores in your brain. Plus, it helps your memory work more efficiently and enables you to remember information much better. The next time you need to recall something, go for a run.

2.    Fights mood swings, anxiety, and depression

Inactivity is one of the major components of mood swings and depression. Running stimulates the production of endorphins that can help pick up your mood and make you feel less depressed. Moreover, exercise, such as jogging or running, lowers the body’s stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. When you run, a flood of endorphins also reduces both anxiety sensitivity and generalized anxiety. If you suffer from panic attacks or depression, invest in running shoes and get into a habit of moving your body daily.

3.    Improves your sleep quality

Insomnia and other sleep disorders worsen the symptoms of anxiety and depression, making you more hyper-arousal and stressed. Regular exercise such as running will help you overcome that arousal and calm down your nervous system thus improving your sleep. Don’t expect to see the immediate results, though. It may take a few weeks to months before you combat your sleep disturbances.

4.    Helps you stay strong during the cancer battle

Running itself won’t help you prevent or cure cancer, but it can help improve your mental health, helping you stay strong. Running is recommended for people undergoing chemotherapy. Current literature shows a strong importance of a physical activity, such as endurance running, after a cancer diagnosis can help reduce recurrence risk and mortality. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7117710/

5. Aids in developing confidence

Runners experience higher levels of self-esteem. Running helps combat insecurities and mental disorders. It keeps you fit and healthy, developing confidence in your body image that’s a natural by-product of exercise.

6. Gives you a purpose

When running 2 times a week, you set yourself daily and weekly goals – be it running 30 minutes around the neighborhood or entering a spring race. Having a goal in mind alleviates seasonal and chronic depression and gives you a purpose in life.

Running in moderation is totally good for you – especially for your mental health. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses that can negatively affect your overall life. Running triggers the release of endorphins – your body’s natural antidepressant, decreasing your risk of developing mental diseases.