Most people often start running regularly for the sleuth of physical benefits the activity imparts. However, it can also be greatly beneficial for your mental health. Regular running can be a profoundly affirmative tool for people with mental health issues. It can have a positive impact on people dealing with conditions like anxiety, depression, and ADHD. It can also relieve stress, improve sleep cycles, improve your memory, and much more.
A recent study conducted on 14,000 people found that over 82% of the runners said that running helped them in clearing their mind, and over 78% said that they felt more mentally stable and sane by running regularly.
So, what more benefits of running are related to mental health? Let’s find out.
Regular running has been proven to increase the lifespan of people. However, the key takeaway from this research is that it also helps in stimulating the release of dopamine in regular runners. This keeps the moods of runners regulated and maintained throughout the day. This exercise for mental health also helps them in maintaining a positive attitude, and deal with anxiety and stress.
The brain’s electrical activity significantly increases while running, especially in the key areas responsible for emotional processing and consolidating memories, whether short or long term. Additionally, running is a mental exercise that can increase the activity in their hippocampus area in the brain in a duration of as short as 12 weeks. This is very helpful for people in depression, people who might have a cognitive impairment, or even people with dementia, as the hippocampus is important for emotional processing.
This question often brought up by beginners. One of the best running tips for beginners is to start with short distances or time and grow it gradually. This also factors into the main question at hand, how much running is needed for maintaining good mental health?
It has been shown in studies conducted on brain images that light jogging can get your hippocampus electrically stimulated which can prove to be very beneficial for mental health. Regular runners can get continued benefits as they gradually grow their running time. For instance, some brain imaging studies have shown that with in just ten minutes of doing light, gentle jogging you can get rapid electrical activity in the hippocampus, giving you some real mental health benefits. As you grow your running time in a linear fashion to up to 300 minutes a week, you can get some amazing mental health benefits. However, this is where the benefits of running on mental health start to plateau.
All forms of exercise can prove to be beneficial to your mental health. However, taking in some running tips and making it regular can impart more mental health benefits than other forms. The main focus of individuals should be to commit to a regular routine, and the rest will take care of itself!