You know the feeling. Don’t we all wish we had more hours in our days? Extremely busy weeks add stress and pressure that deeply impact your overall mood and outlook on life. The chaos can sometimes leave little room for your regular runs and workout routine. When this starts happening, not only does your body miss the physical activity, so does your mind. The positive effects that come from running are numerous and can seriously change your life. Below, I included a list with some of my favorite mental benefits gained from running.
Lessens Anxiety: After coming off a long day of work my head spins with to-do lists, deadlines and the stress of everyday life. These expectations can leave you feeling unhappy with your current situation. Whenever these feelings come on, I force myself to take a run or gym night. After my workout a flip switches in my mind and I feel unstoppable. It’s proven that after a run or workout you feel more relaxed than before.
Helps You Sleep: As mentioned, running helps you cool down which also clears your mind when going to sleep. In addition, regular running helps improve your heart rate which is also a big contributing factor to a better night’s sleep. You will also end the day on a positive note feeling accomplished with your hard work.
Improves Self-Esteem: When finishing a vigorous run, you have that on top of the world feeling which is super empowering. This feeling of accomplishment translates directly to confidence improving your overall self-esteem. This is especially true when you cross the finish line of a race you’ve been training for. Seeing your hard work payoff is so rewarding.
Increases Craving For Healthier Foods: Studies show that after running your body actually craves healthier food options over junk food. After a tough run, your body uses existing nutrients and craves to be refueled after a workout. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing more refreshing than a juicy piece of fruit and ice cold glass of water after a difficult exercise.
See The Positive Side Of Life: When running, your brain releases endorphins improving your mood and putting you in a positive mind set. In this mind set, you really see how beautiful your life is. It opens your eyes to the positives and takes the focus off the negative. This is by far my favorite aspect of running. It truly makes you look on the bright side of life.