There are so many great benefits that come from running, trust me! I ran away from anxiety and depression. Literally. And so can you!
I first started running regularly in 2017 when I was in the middle of a severe depression and anxiety outbreak. One day I just got the urge to go out and run. So I did.
It took some weeks to get into it and feel good when running but eventually I got there, and IT IS magical. But it takes effort and a steady routine to experience the benefits of running – just like any kind of physical activity.
What made me start considering running was a book I read during my time away from work due to mental health, it had been recommended by my councilor and my sister. It’s called The Real Happy Pill and is written by a Swedish psychiatrist named Anders Hansen.
In the book Hansen talks about what exercising can do to our health, focusing on mental illness, just by moving 20-30 minutes per week you’ll see big changes in your mental health.
Research has shown the importance of exercise for our overall health in so many studies for so many years. So why isn’t everyone outside and running?Well, my guess is that it is too much effort. Simple as that, and that is a dealbreaker for most people.
So I’m gonna break it down for you and hopefully you’ll be motivated to grab your running shoes and head out for a brisk jog!
Running is a natural anti-depressant
After your run you will feel tired yet calm – and your brain will release mood-regulating neurotransmitters which you most likely have heard of: Endorphins, serotonin and dopamine! These are all the happy hormones, with a steady exercise routine you will feel happier, calmer and more at ease – these hormones work amazingly!
During your workout you might experience a runner’s high – it is when you feel so happy and confident that you can run forever. This usually occurs in runners who have kept a running routine for a longer period.
A tip from me is to listen to music while you run, I have experienced feeling confident, strong and unstoppable while listening to music that highlights those feelings. It is an undescribable moment!
Your heart will love it
Your cardiovascular health is something you should never underestimate! Stress, lack of exercise and diet are things you should be aware of when considering your cardiovascular health.
Exercising only 20-30 minutes five times a week can lower your risks of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.
Here is a study:
Stress no more
Running lowers your stress hormones, improves your blood pressure and oxygen uptake. So going out for a run can actually relieve your stress and make you more focused on your everyday tasks,
Stronger bones and muscles
While running you are using your lower body to move you forward and to keep you upright, your core and back are engaging to keep your posture. So this means while running you are making your muscels stronger, as you are carrying your own body weight, and your bones and joints are moving so thus getting stronger.
Running is a natural anti-depressant
Keeping an exercise routine is particulary good for people who suffer from depression, the release of those feel-good hormones mentioned earlier makes you more calm and happier. By running regurarly you’ll get a beneficial dose of these mood-regulating neurotransmitters and you’ll see a big change in your overall mental health.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is used in anti-depressants, and if you’re suffering from depression you most likely have a low level of serotonin in your brain, which causes sadness.
Hansen is quick to clarify that you should still take your medications and continue therapy – alongside with exercising. It is the combination of these that creates the best long-term results.
While running you are getting out of your home, creating routines, and leaving your bed or sofa while engaging in a potential hobby – all of this will have a role in your well-being and recovery from depression. It is not just physical benfits you will experience, but also social and psychologial.
So, in conclusion running five times per week for 20-30 minutes can boost your mood, your heart and your day-to-day experiences. You don’t need to run a marathon, you can walk in a tempo that makes your heart beat faster for 30 minutes to get all the good stuff you need.
You have the power to control your well-being, let’s start now! 🙂