Psychological and physical benefits from running can really make a difference. In what are the benefits of running? You will experience that Running particular can give you psychological gains such as joy, confidence, better memory, etc. running affects both the chemical processes that take place in the brain and your image of yourself and the world by giving you some positive experiences.
This means that on the mental level you can expect great and exciting experiences. Because while the motives for getting started with running often are of a physical nature, such as to lose a few kilos, it is usually the emotional and psychological effects that make the runner continue Running, reinforces our presence in the world in a fascinating way and when a good run is really good, deep emotional layers are also activated in the personality.
We can be challenged on aspects of our being that we do not have immediate contact with everyday life. Body awareness is the feeling of well-being that arises when the body is not just a heavy and irrelevant appendage to the rest of the personality but is integrated as a living part of the whole. The body becomes happy when it is used, and we greet the togetherness with similar joy.
This is how it feels when we run along a soft forest path under the beech crowns. This is how it is to get home wet and tired after running the last part of the run despite wind and rain.
An American super sprinter once stated that for him, the kick he got from running was the purest and strongest expression of life. Records, championships, money and admiration – all that was fine enough, but at the root of it all was the golden feeling of well-being that kept him going, despite deprivation, bone-chilling training, pain and injuries – “it’s even better than good sex! ”
Let’s look at some of the great benefits of running:
Brain Training by Running
Your brain is your main computer. It is crucial to how quickly you can solve problems; how good you are at regulating your emotions and how you interpret the world around you. It is a complex organ with a myriad of nerve connections and areas that control everything in you by sending signals through the nervous system and controlling your hormones.
It turns out that when you run, you go in and maintain nerve connections, and you can even improve the brain’s ability to absorb various substances and run processes. In concrete terms, this means that your ability to solve problems and your memory can be improved by running. Training the body is training the brain!
Running makes you happy
It has long been used by doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists to supplement therapy and medication with exercise when treating patients with anxiety, depression and stress. Unfortunately, all three conditions have affected many people, but training goes in and helps you get better and can also prevent you from not get it so bad again.
It happens in several ways. The biochemical explanation is that the happy substances that are normal in a well-functioning metabolism do not run as well when you have anxiety, depression or stress, but exercise helps to trigger some of those substances and stabilize the metabolism.
One of the psychological explanations is that exercise is very tangible and you can have successful experiences on all levels, so you can quickly replace a negative thought pattern, where everything seems like a downfall or is unmanageable, with one where there is something that you can succeed at.
Running can reduce stress
Most of us have experienced being stressed for shorter or longer periods of our lives. As with motivation for training in general, stress is something that comes and goes. In the days or periods when you are stressed, running can be a great help to give mental clarity to situations and surplus again. However, it is important to keep in mind that running also is a form of stress for the body, and therefore an excessive level of stress can have the opposite effect.
However, it must be considered that modern stress often is mental stress i.e. you can, for example, have a sedentary job with many meetings that give stress, so when running you “shift awareness from the mental stress thoughts in the head to the physical well-being in the body.” This gives your head a break and at the same time, you train the body, which has been sedentary all day long.
You can also choose activities during these periods that get you down in gear such as Yoga, Pilates or meditation or you can go for a walk in the woods, even though it doesn’t have much to do with running, it will probably surprise how much it can give you a bigger surplus again.
Running Can Give you Confidence and Self-Esteem
When you run you can get a better feeling of yourself in many ways. One of them is about to reach the goals you set for yourself. Every time you set a goal and achieve it, you strengthen your image of yourself as someone who succeeds with the things you choose to do something about. The more often you do it, the stronger that image will become. You can also gain increased self-esteem by running because you are running with some people, who show you that they want to spend time with you. I have had agreements with colleagues to run after work in the nature-friendly areas around our workplace.
it’s surprising how many things we get talked about when we aren’t at work on such runs. Being well-liked by people with whom you share an interest and who you also like can greatly give you the feeling of being worth something. Your self-confidence can also increase by running because running can change your appearance.
In modern society we live in, there is a lot of focus on the body and it also means that we each have a ‘standard’ of when our body looks best. By training and changing your fat percentage and/or your muscle size, you can shape your body more in the direction of, how you want it to look and thereby get a greater feeling of being attractive.
Running can strengthen mental skills
There are mental skills that you can use in all aspects of your life that you can really get developed through training. The ability to set specific goals that you know how to measure progress and that you adjust on an ongoing basis is a trait that can make it easier for you to work purposefully in everything you do.
The ability to deal with adversity by being able to stay motivated when things do not quite work out for you, or something unexpectedly negative happens, is a skill that can be used for the rest of your life. It does not have to be definite adversity; it can also be things that are tough where you have to fight your way through it even if you feel like to stop.
Physical Benefits of Running
If you do not have a specific goal, such as having to run a marathon or cycle to Paris, then training for the general state of health is a good motivating factor. In that case, almost all training will give you an effect and you have a great opportunity to be innovative and try a wide range of training.
If at the same time you have the opportunity to do so in a social setting with others, studies suggest that you will get even greater pleasure and benefit from your training. Membership in a gym, association, or perhaps training videos at home are opportunities you can take advantage of, like tennis, badminton, handball or football and many other sports. The general health benefits you will get are:
- Improved cardiovascular system, which will make you less breathless in your daily life and therefore leave you with more energy for all the things you like to do
- Strengthened bones that will last for many years and therefore will last longer if one day you go wrong
- Decreased blood pressure, which will reduce your risk of blood clots and heart problems
- Increased insulin sensitivity, which means less risk of developing type 2 diabetes and the complications that come with it
- An improved nervous system that makes you stronger and able to carry heavier things and react faster
The physical gains you get out of training happens pretty much as soon as you get started. Some take a little longer before you can see or feel a difference, but if you keep exercising and if you keep challenging yourself, you can develop your body a lot.
Play and freedom
Play and freedom the word sport comes from the old French word desport, which actually means to lead away from or distract. It was the English upper class who in the 1500 century needed to get away from a boring or perhaps worrying everyday life and therefore resorted to various forms of sporting diversionary maneuvers.
Picasso later called Play “freedom from reality”, and play is probably an important aspect of the running movement. Most of us have a built-in need to play. We throw ourselves into self-created games that give us a much-needed break from everyday life, but where we also – with an appropriate mix of seriousness and humor – put ourselves on stage.
As a runner, you are in control of when, how much and how fast you can shout “time out” and set your own goals and make your own rules, and you can let yourself be captivated, seduced and excited.
All these are important components of a good game. The “running game” makes you pop proud when you have set a new personal record on your short evening route around the street pond, or when you have completed your first marathon and won a glorious 9321 place!
Running Creates Self-esteem and Social Competence
Getting in good shape means that you strengthen the ability to behave physically, mentally and mentally in social contexts. And here we are not talking about iron men and women, but about quite ordinary runners who can run a half to a full hour.
They get easier by committing themselves socially as well as pursuing the other goals they have in life. This may be especially true if you are in crisis or if running training is something you only start late in life. If you have had feelings of inadequacy for periods, the kick you get from the running training will give a marked improvement. Many tell joyfully about how their surroundings express admiration and respect for the fact that they suddenly start running, competing and breaking personal records at unprecedented distances.
Running Prevents Anxiety and Depression
After a run, the tension level is lowered in both normally functioning and anxious people. Running in this regard ranks in line with meditation and other forms of systematic relaxation techniques. Physical exercise also lowers the level of anxiety, ie. the threshold at which anxiety is triggered. Trained people have less anxiety than untrained people. Running therapy has therefore been used for patients with severe anxiety attacks
The Energy Level Increases
The beneficial effect that running training has on anxiety and depression is due, among other things, to the fact that for a depressed person it is almost impossible to lift oneself out of one’s depression just by thinking positive thoughts. It is infinitely difficult because the depressive person’s energy level is too low. On the other hand, when the energy level is raised, it will be easier for the person to get out of the depressed state.
Running and Sexuality
Many runners describe that runner life provides a better sex life. Regular exercise increases self-esteem and this is an important basis for desire and enjoyment. But hard-trained athletes can also get so tired and exhausted that sex comes far down the list.
This feeling occurs because testosterone levels drop to a low level as a result of very hard workouts, but also after light workouts on top of a hard workday. Testosterone is primarily concerned with male sexuality but is also important for female arousal. With weight loss, which often results from running training, testosterone levels are also lowered.
It is the female sex hormone, estrogen, that influences the sexual behavior of women, but not so much the strength of the sex drive. It is controlled in both sexes by adrenaline and testosterone – biochemical products, the production of which is stimulated by regular balanced running training.
The American psychologist Michael Sachs describes runners’ state of euphoria in this way: Drunk, strong, powerful, graceful, spiritually self-realizing, carefree, free from guilt and tension, sees the colors more clearly, laughs and cries at the same time, blends in with nature, daydreaming and seeing life in a whole new light.
From this description, he tries to define what he calls “runners high” as “a state of euphoric intensity that unexpectedly occurs when running and where the runner experiences an elevated sense of well-being, joy and excitement about nature, and the feeling of to cross the line between time and space. ”
It is very individual when the feeling arises. Some researchers believe that it takes half an hour, others that it should take longer. 69% of runners in a psychological study described that they experienced a form of mild euphoria when they ran. This was especially true for a group of runners with a weekly mileage of at least 35 and who had been running for at least 15 weeks.
For these runners, the feeling of euphoria usually appeared at the beginning of the last half of the run and on average every other time. Some runners who know how to get into this Euphoric state say that they do not experience “runners high” if they are stressed or train too hard, or if they participate in a competition where you think about too many other things.
As you hopefully can see, you can expect great and exciting experiences with running. while the motives for getting started with running often are of physical character it is usually the emotional and psychological side effects that make the runner continue.
I hope you get something out of this post and if you have any questions about the topic or want to leave your own Personal review, please leave a comment below.