Getting back into running

Legs of person running on a track

Running often gets a bad rap but it can do wonders for your mental health.

Choosing to run as a form of exercise is often met with groans, probably because we were all forced to run laps in high school. Going to the gym or playing a team sport are typically a more favourable way to stay healthy. But having recently gotten back into running, especially in the outdoors, I have reaped the rewards. Obviously running is good exercise for your physical health but it is also a beneficial activity for your mental health.

It is no secret that exercising releases endorphins in your body, which in turn makes you happier and in an elevated mood. For me, going for even a brisk walk or a short jog outside gives me lots of happiness as I can feel the fresh air rush past me. I love to run outdoors with headphones in, and have that real 'main character' moment. Running is also quite meditative. I am sure I am not alone in feeling afraid sometimes to partake in any activities that will leave me alone with my thoughts. Consequently, I often prioritise tasks which I can be focused on. However, when you are hearing the birds chirp and seeing the nice view, running helps you get through your thoughts in a much nicer way.

Running, like any type of exercise, can also make you feel better about yourself. My skin is starting to clear up, my body is feeling more toned, and this helps boost my mood. Of course, nobody should equate their physical appearance with their self-worth, but running does help me feel like less of a slob, and that my life is more put together.

One more bonus about running outdoors: you might encounter a cute dog. I recently came across the cutest Golden Retriever whilst on a run, so if that does not incentivise you, I don't know what will! So, go out there and run: I promise you'll feel much better!

Tagged in What messes with your head, exercise