Running and Mental Health

By Asa Montreaux

Over the years we all need ways to relieve our stress and feel happier. We all need to exercise to maintain our health, especially as we age. Running is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise, and is proven to have many positive effects on our lives. It can even prevent cognitive decline.
Running works our bodies hard, releasing endorphins that create feelings of accomplishment and euphoria, which contribute to our overall feelings of happiness. The serotonin released on a run increases brain function, and lifts our mood. It is an effective relief for depression and anxiety, leaving our minds much clearer, and our bodies more relaxed.
It has been proven to help with high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Running can even grow fresh grey matter in our brains, as much as thousands of new brain cells over the course of a few days. These new cells improve the ability of the runners to recall memories without becoming relaxed.
And while it can be a good outlet, a chance for solitude, a time to collect our thoughts, it can be a great way to engage socially with other runners. Trails and parks are jam-packed with runners that feel connected to one another.


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