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Run For Your Mind: The Mental Health Benefits of Running

Running has a wide variety of health benefits like improving blood pressure, building heart muscles, and strengthening bones. Beyond the physical benefits, running is also proven to positively impact your mental health. So, hop on the treadmill, hit the trails, and read on to learn why you should make running part of your exercise routine.

Stress less

After going for a run, your body experiences a drop in the stress hormone cortisol. This reduction diminishes feelings of stress, allowing you to go about the rest of your day with less tension and anxiety.

In addition to mitigating stress, running also invokes feelings of calmness. Following a run, your body releases chemicals called endocannabinoids. These chemicals flow through your bloodstream and into your brain, relaxing your mind and body.

Catch more ZZZs

The positive impacts of a run extend beyond the finish line and into bedtime. Studies show that aerobic exercise such as running can significantly improve the quality of sleep, even for those suffering from insomnia. Running has also been linked to a reduction in daytime drowsiness, meaning you’ll have more energy for your day and less fatigue to fight through.

Boost your mood

Running influences short- and long-term mood. Immediately after a run, endocannabinoids create a euphoric feeling, commonly referred to as a “runner’s high”.​​ Long-term, running can alleviate the symptoms of certain mood disorders and mental health conditions.

Finding help

Struggling with feelings of stress, suffering from insomnia, or enduring anxiety and depression? Though running is a great way to improve upon these conditions, Valley Oaks Health offers a wide variety of services to help address your mental health concerns.

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