7 Best Benefits of Jogging and Running for Your Mental Health

Running and jogging provides both physical as well as mental health benefits. (Image via Unsplash/Jozsef Hocza)
Running and jogging provides both physical as well as mental health benefits. (Image via Unsplash/Jozsef Hocza)

The physical health benefits of running and jogging have always been talked about, but mental health benefits are not discussed as much. Maybe if the mental health benefits were more talked about, there would have been greater motivation to take up running shoes for a spin.

Various studies have shown that running and jogging have numerous mental health benefits. These include sharpening memory, improved learning abilities, alleviating anxiety and helping reduce substance abuse.

On that note, let's have a better understanding of the mental health benefits of jogging and running. Without any further ado, let's get started:

Mental Health Benefits of Jogging and Running

1) Stress Relief

Running and jogging provide for better psychological well-being that helps in relieving stress.

Quite a few studies have shown that increased stress level among teenagers and adults due to studies and work is very prevalent. Stress levels can be managed by including running and jogging in your regular lifestyle.

That will help you in building greater resilience and ability to deal with various challenges.

2) Positive Impact on Mood

Runner's high is a term that is often talked about by regular joggers and runners. Ever wondered what it is?

Our body tends to release hormones known as endorphins when we exercise. These hormones boost your happiness and improve your state of mind for a while, which is called a runner's high. Hence, running and jogging tend to have a positive impact on your mood in the short term.

In long-term, running and jogging helps in increasing calmness and reducing agitation and frustration.

3) Builds Self-Esteem

One of the major health benefits of running and jogging is that they help you in building your self-esteem along with giving you a sense of freedom and a feeling of empowerment.

Including these activities in your routine can help you feel positive about your body image and fitness, which are often related to your self-esteem. By running, you feel better about yourself and surer about the decisions you make.

Overall, running and jogging abilities can be highly motivating, which will enable you to build confidence.

4) Decreased Depression and Anxiety

Multiple research have concluded that running, especially jogging, help in decreasing the symptoms and episodes of clinical depression. These two activities provide a good outlet for processing emotions and overcoming symptoms associated with depression.

Running and jogging also help to relax, which in turn lowers anxiety. Research has shown that these activities may even work as psychotherapy for depression and medication for relieving anxiety.

Caution: If you are suffering from any of these mental health problems, do consult a medical professional rather than solely relying on running and jogging.

5) Better Cognitive Flexibility

Better cognitive flexibility is one of the better health benefits of running and jogging. It means you;ll have a better ability to deal with problems and adapt to any changes. Also, in the face of adversity, you'll be able to take action swiftly and decisively.

6) Increased Productivity

If you are feeling demotivated or burned out, running and jogging can help you out. Studies have shown that running or even brisk walking can help you in increasing your energy level and productivity rate.

By including running in your lifestyle, you'll feel less stressed out and more refreshed. That will enable you to work more efficiently and effectively manage demotivation.

7) Enhances Creativity and Memory

Sharper memory and better creativity are some of the many health benefits of running and jogging.

These activities improve the blood flow in your body along with helping maintain cardiovascular health. Regulation of blood flow in the brain along with better overall fitness enhances one’s memory.

Research has shown that regular runners tend to have a greater connection between the frontal parts of the brain with other areas. That provides for better self-control in humans. Running and jogging can also help in boosting creativity by refreshing and re-energising the body.

Bottom Line

Considering the mental health benefits of running and jogging, you should include them in your lifestyle, as they do not require a gym and can be done anywhere. So the next time you procrastinate about your jog and run, just think about all the advantages, especially the mental health benefits you are missing out on.

However, running too much can overwork your body and cause mental strain. Challenging yourself is good, but straining your body can be harmful to both your mental and physical health, as your body needs appropriate rest and a balanced diet.

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Edited by Bhargav
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