With summer now in full swing, it’s time to really get those summer goals you planned on into action! There are a lot of reasons to add “exercise” and “running” to your list of goals for the summer, but mental health is definitely one of the most important! Didn’t know running helps you physically AND mentally? Then read on, because there are a lot more benefits to getting up and getting active than you may think!
First of all, running reduces stress, sharpens your focus and gives you energy! Over time, with commitment and persistence, prolonged exercise can have a major impact on your mood, build confidence, and can even help fight tiredness during the day!
When you exercise, endorphins are released, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Additionally, running can strengthen the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45. Studies suggest that a tough workout increases levels of a brain-derived protein (known as BDNF) in the body, believed to help with decision making, higher thinking and learning.
Working out, especially between ages 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning. Various studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells (otherwise known as neurogenesis) and improve overall brain performance.
Although it seems counterintuitive, if you feel lethargic or struggle daily to gather up energy, running can be a great way to get energized, which is why doctors recommend physical activity to people who tend to be tired often. For example, if you’re feeling tired after work, even if you slept a good amount the past few nights, changing into running clothes and going out to the track can turn your perspective around. You will return feeling a relaxing runner’s high and a renewed focus to stay on track with your health goals!
No matter what the reason, getting outside and staying active is a great habit to get into! This summer is YOUR summer, so let’s make it great and stay committed to our healthy lifestyle!
Want to set a running goal? Check out What’s So Great About 5Ks Anyways?
Check out these posts for more great advice to get you up and moving!
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