Do you ever want to experience what’s it like to be alive? Hear your heart thumbing and feel every beat of it, while your lungs are stretching themselves. In the slightest of microseconds, the gap between your next song on your playlist, that pause is when you can connect yourself to your body and perhaps hear the wind gushing through the openings of your earbuds, and hear the sound of your alive heart, maybe even feel the ground, your feet lifting you, pushing you forward on every step of the way.
Aerobic cardiovascular exercises – such as Jogging and Running, they send more nourishing blood to the brain, which can help you think more clearly. Other than the physical health benefits of jogging or running, there are also many psychological benefits as well. Some of these include increased mental flexibility, confidence and the emotional boost of the runner.
The challenges that running regularly presents can also help you learn more about yourself. It would be an understatement to make if I would say, that running feels like meditation to me. The concept of meditation for a layman is usually associated with a peaceful gathering of thoughts. Dwelling on your inner-self more and escaping the reality for a few moments. Keeping my body on the move, while reflecting on my doings of the day, or perhaps planning my future actions and thinking of all the things that I should have said, and much more about the things that I shouldn’t have said. I find myself more immersed in my thoughts than ever while moving forward in my shoes. Below are a few of the many examples of why you need to run:
- Changes your Brain (Literally)
Exercising is known to be a key factor associated with the growth of new neurons in the brain, a process which is known as neurogenesis. In a study conducted by the Frontiers, it was found that, due to increased aerobic capacity and cognitive demands of running, it results in the development of new brain cells.
- Increases Creativity
Researchers have managed to find a link between running and higher levels of creativity. In a study conducted by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, it was found that running increased the creative thinking scores of the participants.
- Improves Learning Abilities
According to a study conducted by Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, it was found that low-impact aerobic running can improve your capacity to learn and retain new information and vocabulary.
- Decreases the Symptoms of Depression
Running is found to be an effective intervention for depression as psychotherapy. Multiple studies also point that regular aerobic exercise – and primarily jogging reduces the symptoms of clinical depression.
- Best Stress Relief
Going for a jog might improve your mood in the short-term by helping get your mind off your troubles. It is another valuable benefit of running or jogging. It can also lead to longer-lasting stress relief benefits for you.
- Improves Mood
In several pieces of researches, it was found that positive feelings happen because running triggers the release of endorphins. Researchers have shown that a long-distance run increased opioid binding throughout several areas of the brain, which results in giving a sense of euphoria.
- Decreases Craving for Unhealthy Foods
It is reported that after an hour of fast running study participants were more likely to opt for healthy dietary choices that included fruit and vegetables. In the findings by Vanderbilt University, it was found that running is also known to reduce cravings for other drugs.
So, just go out – pull your socks up with your running shoes on and start running – you will feel the air, the wind storming off on your face; sometimes even backing you up, pushing you forward, towards that next mile of yours, keeping your mental and physical health intact.
Omkar Kulkarni is a self-proclaimed art appreciator, a certified film reviewer and someone’s favorite human being.