What Are the Effects of Running on the Brain?

effects of running

Running is one of the most popular types of exercise in the world, and is enjoyed by over 55 million Americans.

Whether you like to run marathons or just take a quick jog around your local park, you’ll feel the benefits. Running is a great way to get outside, get your muscles working and burn some calories.

These aren’t the only positive effects of running. Running is also good for you brain! Read on to find out more.

Three Effects of Running on Your Mental Health

There are lots of amazing benefits running has for your brain. Here are just a few of them.

1. Process Information Faster

Do you ever have problems learning new skills or remembering things? Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it feels as though the information just won’t go in. Surprisingly, running may be able to help you with that.

An experiment by West Michigan University found that a quick, half-an-hour run improves ‘cortical flicker frequency’. This means that you can process information more quickly.

You can also concentrate better, as you’re less likely to be drawn by distractions. This means that overall, your ability to learn is improved.

So, if you’re studying for an exam, running could be a good way to prepare your brain!

2. Relieve Stress

Stress can have a huge impact on the body, making you feel fatigued, and even posing several health risks. This goes both ways, and you can combat this by taking care of your physical health with stress-relieving workouts.

Running is a great way to do that. When you run, your brain released ‘feel-good chemicals’, such as dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals regulate your mood, so you can feel calmer, more relaxed, and more content.

3. Control Your Emotions

A 2016 study found that those who run are much better are regulating their emotions.

Participants who completed a 30-minute jog were found to be less susceptible to stressors and negative mood inductions. This meant that they had a better handle on their emotions, and were able to stay in control.

This is especially useful for those with mental health disorders, alcoholism or drug addiction, as these issues can make it difficult to regulate emotions. They can often cause erratic emotions or behavior, which can lead to relapses as well as problems with others around them.

See this website to find out how people who struggle with issues like these can benefit from physical exercise as well as behavioral therapy and other types of treatment.

Get Active

The effects of running on mental health are many. However, if you’re not a fan of running, there are plenty of other things you can try.

Whether you’re into strength training, swimming, martial arts or gymnastics, both your body and mind will thank you for investing your time in training.

Yoga is great for mental health, too. It’s slow-paced and encourages participants to practice meditation, which brings even more benefits. To find out more, read our post on the amazing connection between yoga and running.