How Running Beats Stress!

The government have put an emphasis on exercise during this lock-down, and for good reason. Exercise and more specifically running , is a fantastic way to keep on top of your mental health.

Stress is the bodies natural reaction to feeling threatened. It's the mechanics behind our fight or flight response. From an evolutionary perspective, this kept us safe in a dangerous world. However, daily stressors can occur at work, at home or as a result of others. Currently, a lot of us a dealing with the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19.

The physiological benefits of running are well researched and well documented. This explains it's growing popularity all around the world. However, the mental health benefits are considerably less well known.

1| Improved mood - Exercising encourages the release of endorphins. Endorphins are considered our happy hormones and leaves us feeling uplifted and euphoric.These hormones will help you beat the feelings of anxiety and depression. 

2| Clarity of thoughts - Raising your heart rate leads to a release of another clever hormone: norepinephrine. This hormone improves cognition and reduces brain fog. Clearer thinking, with less distraction, can lead to more mindful actions. 

3| High self esteem & confidence - Whether it's crushing a PB or fitting into those old jeans, achieving something feels good. Consistency with your exercise helps get you there. 

4| Better sleep - Exercise also helps regulate your circadian rhythm, our bodies’ built-in alarm clock that controls when we feel tired and when we feel alert. In addition, after the hard work is over your body will start to lower its temperature and slow the heart rate in order to reach homeostasis.A lack of sleep is clinically proven to be a trigger of both stress and aggression. 

Know you're armed with the psychological benefits of running, why not use your hour of exercise for this stress busting activity? We encourage newbies to start slowly, to avoid injury. Consider starting with a program such as Couch to 5K.

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/couch-to-5k-week-by-week/