Running is a great way to build muscle, improve your cardiovascular health, and work off any extra calories you may have consumed.
Running brings considerable advantages not only to your physical health but to your mental health as well.
Let’s look at how to keep yourself mentally sharp through running.
1) Physical Benefits of Running
Before we list out how running keeps you mentally sharp, let’s have a quick look at the physical benefits of running. These are:
A) Runners gain around three years of life over non-runners
Running leads to better body composition in terms of less fat, greater cardiovascular fitness, excellent control over sugar levels, lower cholesterol, better hormone regulation, and stronger bones.
In fact, a study on the longevity of runners showed that runners might live about 3 years more than non-runners.
B) Running improves your back and knees
Many studies have shown that the knees of novice marathon runners had achieved sustained improvement in their articular cartilage and their bone marrow.
Furthermore, long-term running in middle-aged endurance runners exhibited lesser age-related declines in their lumbar intervertebral disc height, i.e., the space between the discs in their spine looked better the more years they’d been running.
C) Running helps weight loss
Since running involves moving your entire body weight continuously, it tends to burn more calories than a lot of other physical activities. You’ll burn approximately 100 calories for each mile that you run.
Of course, to achieve maximum efficiency while running, you should wear the appropriate attire to protect yourself from the elements.
For example, wearing a running hat that is ultra-lightweight helps keep the blazing sun out of your eyes. Furthermore, a running hat that uses moisture-wicking fabric helps keep sweat or rain from obscuring your vision.
D) Running helps regulate blood pressure and improves insulin sensitivity
Various studies have shown that aerobic exercise such as running is a drug-free treatment for people who suffer from hypertension.
What’s more, running also improves your insulin sensitivity. Your blood sugar levels will come down during a run since your muscles will be using glucose or energy.
2) How Running Keeps You Mentally Sharp
Running regularly can help your mental health tremendously. Some of the positive effects of running on your mental health are:
A) Manage stress better
After a run, your body releases endocannabinoids, a biochemical substance that is similar to cannabis. This chemical, floods your bloodstream and reaches your brain. As a result, you feel a lot calmer and can manage your stress levels better.
B) Running acts as a mood booster
Regular runs are great for reducing depression and anxiety. When you run, more blood is pumped into your brain. Consequently, the part of your brain that improves your mood gets positively affected.
C) Running can help recovery from mental health issues
Studies have shown that running on a regular basis can have positive effects similar to the kind that medication has when it comes to relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety. Many therapists encourage running to help alleviate many symptoms of mental illness.
D) Improves your daily sleep
Running can help you stick to a regular sleep schedule. Specifically, chemicals that your body releases during and after a run help you relax and achieve deep sleep at night.
Sleeping as per a regular sleep schedule is great for your brain and positively affects your mental health.
Running has a lot of benefits for your physical health. Not only that, research has shown that running regularly leads to you staying mentally sharp as well.
Regardless of whether you’re a casual runner or a more serious one, a regular running routine can have a significantly positive effect on your mental health.
About the Author
Sarilaya Cada is a freelance content writer. She is interested in a wide range of fields, from project management, to education, to engineering.