If you read yesterday’s blog, you will know that this week we are talking about Global Wellness Day on Saturday 9th June. Coincidently, or not so coincidently, this falls at the same time as National Running Day.
Running is one of the most economical ways to exercise as it does not have to involve a gym membership, fancy equipment and specialised conditions or training. However, running is one of the hardest excercises to do. It requires a lot of self-motivation to start running, but also to push yourself when you feel like you can’t run anymore.
It is well worth persevering with running, because the benefits on metal wellbeing and health are huge.
1. Improves your learning abilities and sharpens your memory
High-intensity running (sprints) and low-impact running can improve your capacity to learn and retain new information and vocabulary.
2. Keeps your brain healthy
A few years ago, ‘brain-games’ were the go to solution for keeping your brain young and healthy. However, it has been proven that running has equal or more effective results.
3. Helps you sleep
The benefits of running on your sleep include regulated circadian rhythms, heightened daytime alertness, quicker and deeper sleep and the reduction of insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea.
4. Boosts self-esteem
When you exercise your body releases chemicals, known as endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.
5. Increases creativity
A 2016 article in Business Insider reported that there is a link between running and higher levels of creativity.
6. Decreases cravings for unhealthy food/substances
After an hour of fast running, a study has shown that participents were more likely to opt for healthy food choices over junk food. This was similar in overcoming cravings for other unhealthy substances such as nicotine, drugs and alcohol.
7. Decreases symptoms of depression and anxiety
The benefits of running are not only physical, but also include mental health benefits. Multiple studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise— mainly jogging or brisk walking— reduces the symptoms of depression. Surprisingly, one study concluded that running was as effective as psychotherapy on symptoms of depression.
Mindful running as a new trend…
This week, Headspace, the most well known and popular mindfulness app, is going beyond meditation. They have teamed up with Nike to create three new guided runs (two are exclusive to members) so you can get your Headspace in stride. They’re in the app now, so make National Running Day the start of your journey – lace up and press play.
If you’d like to read more about Mindfulness and Running from Headspace, read there blog here.
Posted by Francesca Stainer
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