The Healthy Mental Benefits of Running
With benefits ranging from improved protection from heart disease, better sleep, increased endurance and even a longer life, it seems that running is one of the best ways for people to get out and stay in shape.
But, do the benefits extend from the physical to the mental? The truth is that many long-distance runners have mentioned that running has allowed them to improve their mind and even emotional intelligence. The scientific community seems to agree.
Science Says Running Improves Your Mental Health
When researchers at Duke University decided to conduct a broad study based on the population, they hoped to see if there was a link between physical activity and depression. They found that people who live active lifestyles tend to be far less depressed.
A similar study found that even just a ½ hour of walking on a treadmill each day can improve the spirits and make the individual happier. Other studies have shown that exercise for the heart and lungs can have serious benefits to people with mental health conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar conditions and depressive disorders on the whole.
Mental Health Benefits Of Running
Feeling stressed and depressed? Hit the road for the happiness hormone.
Endorphins are produced in the body as a way of reducing stress and fighting pain, these can be considered the happiness hormones. Science has shown that these hormones are produced in the greatest quantities in people who live an active lifestyle. The body that is getting exercise and increased blood circulation to the brain is going to be receiving much higher quantities of endorphins from the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This allows the body to deal with stress much better.
It is not just endorphins that are produced in the body, there is a whole slew of mood-enhancing substances and chemicals including serotonin and dopamine. A deficiency in weather of these chemicals can cause depression and stress. These mood-enhancing effects typically appear within 5 minutes of beginning an exercise routine.
Trouble Focusing On Your Tasks? Run For The Catecholamines
As a result of getting regular exercise, there is an increase of special mood enhancing drugs called catecholamines which directly affect your capacity to focus on your tasks at hand. For this reason, it has been found that running is one of the best ways to improve attention spans and counteract the symptoms of ADHD.
Trouble Learning and Remembering? Run to Generate Neurons
Chronic stress and constant anxiety can lead to the lack of regeneration or neurons, or neurogenesis. When neurogenesis is halted, the hippocampus, the region responsible for memory and learning shrinks and atrophies. This can lead to a whole slew of problem for the modern athlete.
If You Have Schizophrenia
Patients suffering from schizophrenia have certain cognitive defects and treatment options are very limited at the moment. It has been suggested that running could be a solution. A group of scientists decided that they would test certain aspects of social cognition, attention spans, speed of information processing and visual and verbal learning aspects in a group of subjects treated with a routine involving aerobic exercises.
The results showed great success and the more days they exercise the better they felt. This improvement was attributed to an increase in the number of brain cells.
If It’s Because You Are Aged
It’s not too late to lace up your shoes and run for your mental health. It has been shown that running fights cognitive decline. Vocabulary is absorbed 20% faster after an intense physical exercise.Worried about your knees, then try these from Orthoticshop.com.
If You Want To Prevent Dementia
With the capacity for improved neurogenesis, running has the capacity to fight of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. Alzheimer’s makes up the vast majority of dementia. Running has been found to have special preventative benefits and can help to avoid dementia in the elderly population and those who suffer from type-2 diabetes, both of whom are at an increased risk of this condition.
Doubting Your Self-Worth? Run To Boost Your Self-Esteem
Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to focus on a task at hand and even interact with other when in the throes of anxiety and depression? This will eventually thwart your efficiency as a human when you are attacked by self-esteem.
Studied have shown that vigorous activities help to relieve these conditions and can greatly improve your self-esteem. As you expect more from yourself your self-respect also improves and it is easier to make a realize that there is a lot more that you are capable of.
Started Running Yet?
Even a moderate amount of better exercise can be a beneficial boost to your health and well-being. No matter your age or fitness level it is essential that you apply exercise as your tool to improve your health.
Even moderate amounts of exercise can make a huge difference to your health and well being. It doesn’t matter what your age or fitness level is, use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better. Start slow. But start now.
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