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How Can Running Have A Positive Effect On Mental Health?

We all sign up to events, like the Recipharm GEAR 10k, for one reason or another, but why do we do it? Why do we set ourselves a goal and target weeks, if not months ahead to aim at?

One of the BIG reasons is around how exercising, and running in particular, can help our mental health.

We've looked at what it is about lacing up and getting out the door that helps many of us on a regular basis:

Release Of Endorphins

Running is a form of aerobic exercise that stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the brain that act as mood enhancers.

Endorphins help reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, and improve overall mood and are regularly referred to as the 'runners high'.

If any of you have had a great run, the chances are you've experienced that runners high!

Stress Reduction

Engaging in regular running can be an effective stress management tool. Physical activity, including running, helps reduce the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.

It promotes relaxation and can provide an outlet for pent-up emotions or frustrations.

Improved Sleep

Regular exercise, including running, can improve the quality of your sleep. Physical activity helps regulate your body's internal clock and promotes better sleep patterns.

Getting sufficient rest can have a significant impact on your mental health, enhancing your mood and cognitive function, ultimately (and hopefully) leading to improved running!

Enhanced Self-Esteem

Regular running and achieving personal fitness goals can boost self-esteem and self-confidence.

As you progress and see improvements in your running abilities, you may experience a sense of accomplishment and increased self-worth, which can positively impact your mental well-being.

Increased Brain Function

Running has been shown to enhance cognitive function and improve memory and attention. It increases blood flow to the brain, promoting the growth of new brain cells and improving overall brain health.

Social Interaction

Running can be a social activity, whether it's participating in organised races, joining running clubs, or simply running with friends or family. Social interaction and the sense of community that running can provide contribute to positive mental health outcomes, reducing feelings of loneliness and fostering a support network.

For us here at Runr, mental health is really important which is why we launched a range of Mental Health Matters clothing to help spread the important message that mental health matters.

We have to say that the running community is a truly inspiring place to be a part of and encourage you all to engage with other runners wherever you can! Feel free to jump on our Instagram, Facebook, X and Strava to check out what others have been getting up to.

Distraction And Mindfulness

Running provides an opportunity to disconnect from daily stresses and focus on the present moment. It can serve as a form of mindfulness practice, allowing you to clear your mind, gain perspective, and experience a sense of calm and relaxation.

    As always, these are just our thoughts and snippets we take onboard when talking to the wider running community.

    If you're struggling with your mental well-being, it's essential to reach out to a qualified healthcare professional for support and guidance who can give you qualified advice and guidance.

    Good luck over the coming weeks as you build up to the 10k event and we'll be sharing more useful tips over the coming weeks.

    Team Runr.

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