Running for Mental Health

Let me give you one “secret:” Running is good to your mental health.

“Running the marathon gave me an inner strength that changed my life,” says Henley Gibble, head of a running club in the U.S. “Whether it’s fast or slow. whether you walk some of it or not, just finishing can have a profound effect on your confidence and self-esteem,” adds Henley.

Scientists, doctors, and runners describe specific reasons why running is good to your mental health.

Here are some of them:

* Running gives a euphoric feeling, a “runner’s high,” that benefits runners psychologically and emotionally;

* Running releases endorphins that act as stimulant to emotional parts of the brain while running, boosting stronger feelings of euphoria;

* Runners report experiencing being totally relaxed, happy, energetic, and satisfied with themselves;

* Running releases a chemical called serotonin, which is a natural mood lifter that addresses negative energies associated with depression, lethargy, or stress;

* Running improves your overall appearance and fitness level, which builds confidence;

* Running facilitates ability to make new circles of friends and support;

* Runners who network and increase their social contacts receive greater mental health benefits than those who run independently;

Indeed, while experiencing the runner’s high is one of the best ways to feel happy and relaxed, running provides a number of general mental health benefits that can seep into your everyday life.

Run and get well!

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