Did you know that running is the best way to de-stress, asks Deepthi Velkur.
Running has numerous health benefits both physically and psychologically. People who run regularly run tend to lead a healthier life and have a more positive outlook. Being non-sedentary and moving around in open spaces has a fabulous effect on the psyche. Most of us spend our days cooped up in offices with air-conditioning turned on all the time. Getting out in the open and going for a run is a great way to build up your resilience to mental- health issues, the most common being stress. As the author of ‘What I Talk About When I Talk About Running’, Haruki Murakami, says “Most runners run not because they want to live longer but because they want to live life to the fullest.”
Stress can be both acute and chronic in nature and can have negative effects on your body leading to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, early aging and weakening of the immune system. So here are a few ways to use running as a great way to fight stress:
Pumps up your mood-Running boosts your mood in a big way. Running helps increase the productivity of a chemical in your body to quell pain called endorphins or runner’s high. They help to slow down the aging process, relieve stress and anxiety, and enhance the immune system in general.
Trains your mind– Running trains the mind as much as it trains the body. You learn to focus better and are determined to take on new challenges and overcome any obstacle. With the mental strength and willpower that running brings, it can change a person’s perspective on life, confidence, and clarity of thought.
Synchronizes your body – In order to relieve stress you need to synchronize your body, that means you breathing, heart rate and body reactions should all be in sync. Running is the easiest form of exercise that can bring your body into sync in the shortest time. A body in sync will get rid of stress quicker.
Fight or Flight – Stress activates your survival instinct and it can leave you feeling antsy. The best way to reduce this feeling is by going for a run. Even a jog will do the trick to relax your mind and reduce the stress inducing hormones.
Finding your Flow – Running gives your body a certain rhythmic flow. The repetitive action of pounding the road in measured strides sets a certain flow to your body. This helps in settling your mind and bringing you back to focus on the important and not the stressful activity.
Running Groups – Running in a group helps you interact with people who share the same philosophy of exercise. They also might be experiencing the same stress and can help you release your negativity and stress better. You will also feel less alone while trying to fight your daily battles.
You will be surprised about how much anxiety can be relieved by a comfortable 20 min run. If you don’t believe me, then why don’t you try it for yourself.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.