Psychological Benefits of Running
Alongside the prior-mentioned physical benefits, running can also benefit psychological health in a multitude of ways:
1. Mood Enhancement
Running prompts the release of endorphins in the brain, which are known to trigger a sense of wellbeing, happiness and even euphoria. This chemical response within the brain explains why runners often feel the most incredible sense of joy and happiness following challenging runs, even when their bodies are exhausted.
2. Stress and Anxiety Reduction
There are two reasons why running has the potential to combat everyday stress and anxiety. One of which being the release of endorphins, as outlined above. As for the other, it's simply a case of getting involved in a rewarding and enjoyable distraction. While running, the body and brain alike have insufficient time and resources to focus on feelings of stress and anxiety.
3. Confidence and Self-Esteem
There's nothing quite like the satisfaction and sense of achievement that accompanies the completion of a run. Or yet, achieving one or more of your predetermined goals. Along with feeling great about your accomplishments, regular running can also help you look great as an added bonus...both working wonders for your confidence and self-esteem.
4. Healthier Sleep
Running on a regular basis provides the body with the kind of head-to-toe exercise that translates to healthier, more satisfying sleep. Healthy sleep in turn contributes to your daily moods, motivation and athletic capabilities alike, and the cycle continues indefinitely.
5. Enhanced Mental Agility and Focus
As running requires a great deal of focus and concentration, regular running can have a marked impact on the overall mental agility and stamina. Studies have shown that runners typically benefit from enhanced mental alertness and problem-solving skills than their sedentary counterparts.
6. Depression Management
Though not considered a cure or singular method of treatment in its own right, psychologists recommend running as an effective method for managing depression. Once again, the combination of endorphins, mental focus, satisfaction, self-esteem and improved physical health can make an enormous difference.
7. Better Coordination
The physical process of running demands precise and continuous coordination of your body and mind. Over time, running can positively contribute to the individual's wider coordination skills and balance.