6 Ways Running Can Help Improve Your Mood

We all know how important it is to exercise, to eat well, and to take good care of our bodies. Physical fitness looks different for everyone. There are so many different forms of exercise that people can engage in to keep their bodies healthy and strong, ranging from something as niche as Animal Flow to something as popular as weight lifting. Exercise trends may come and go, but one classic that will always be popular is running.

Running is a pretty basic, yet incredibly effective. exercise. All you need is a good pair of running shoes, some good terrain, and some determination. Wondering what running can do for you? Here are a couple ways that running boosts your mood:

1 - Banishes tension and brings joy

After a long day at work, a good running session is the perfect way to melt away the tension. Aerobic exercises in general do wonders for relieving stress from your body, actually reducing your body’s level of cortisol and increasing those endorphins. These hormones reduce your stress levels and help you feel happier and healthier.

One reason why people love running so much is the high that you get after a good session. This is called a “runner’s high,” and it occurs as a result of those endorphins running through your veins.

2 - Encourages social interaction

There is a social aspect to running that a lot of runners love. As you run, you get to meet more people who share your passion. You’ll find that running alongside other people often pushes you to perform better. Plus, it enhances the bond you have with them. Running with your spouse is a great way to strengthen that bond. It’s even good for your coworkers. Some companies invite their employees to join on social runs to build friendships and teamwork while promoting good health.

3 - Helps you sleep well

While stressing over work deadlines and finishing chores may leave you exhausted and longing for a good night’s rest, running depletes your energy in a much better way. You may feel physically tired, but not mentally drained. This contributes to a more restful night of sleep.

It won’t just be a longer night of sleep, either. You’ll also enjoy a deeper, better quality of sleep. Why wouldn’t a restful night contribute to a better mood?

4 - Boosts your energy levels

Running depletes your energy, yet it improves your energy levels. If you’ve been feeling slow and fatigued during the day, this may be the perfect way to perk up and enjoy higher energy levels.

Aerobic exercise not only strengthens your muscles, but increases circulation, making sure your brain is supplied with fresh oxygen. You’ll find that your brain is more agile and you are in a better mood throughout the day.

5 - Improves your self-esteem

As you run, you are competing with yourself. There will definitely be times when you’d rather be in bed, catching up with the latest episode of Queer Eye. When you manage to get up and fight your way out to finish your running sessions, you’ll feel powerful and in control of yourself.

You’ll become more disciplined and motivated as you smash goal after goal out of the way, and set higher ones. It’s a fantastic way to build up your self-esteem and learn how to push yourself to your limits.

6 - Allows you to be outdoors

It’s important for everyone to spend some time outdoors. Some fresh air and the warm sun can do wonders for you daily. Vitamin D not only strengthens your bones, but has been shown to lessen the effects of depression.

Running definitely has significant mental and physical benefits. There’s a reason why runners are generally happier, healthier, and a lot more disciplined. Whether you prefer to run solo and reflect on the day or run with a partner and push each other, you’ll be melting the stress away while building up your strength, self-confidence, and energy levels.