The psychology of running: Five ways running can boost your mental fitness
Put that pep in your step.
When it comes to training for an event like the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, we can often get caught up with how we are improving our health and fitness physically. A great added benefit of exercising consistently is improving our mental fitness.
Running a few times a week can reduce stress and meeting your small training goals can really boost your confidence. Even something as simple as getting out in the fresh air on a nice spring morning will put you in a good mood for the rest of the day.
Preparing for the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon with a group of women will help you get reconnected with old friends and build a support group that will last long after the finishing line on June 5th.
Find out the ways running can help you feel great with our psychology of running guide:
1. Confidence boost
When you start exercising for the first time, the biggest hurdle can be working up the confidence to go out for that initial walk or jog. Once you have made that start, it gets so much easier to go out and get a little bit further each day. Seeing your fitness improve and reaching small goals when training will boost your confidence. You will feel more able to tackle new challenges outside of training whether they arise at work or at home. By hitting that 10k target on June 5th, you will feel a real sense of achievement – now you are ready to face anything!
2. Full of beans
You would think that introducing workout sessions into your already packed daily routine would leave you more tired and with less energy but it is actually the opposite. Studies have found that people who don’t normally exercise, feel like they have more energy after incorporating exercise into their routine. After a few weeks of training, you will find it so much easier to get up in the morning and feel less groggy during the day. So rather than going for a nap in front of the TV, head out for a short walk to feel refreshed.
3. Work it out
After coming in from a hard day at work, the last thing you want to do is head out for a training session but one of the best ways to clear your head is exercise. Running in the evening is a great stress-buster. Running releases endorphins which will improve your mood and diminish anxiety. Even deep breathing during your run or walk will immediately make you feel so much better. Listening to a playlist of your favourite music while you run is a great distraction from the stresses of your day and will instantly lift your mood.
4. Sleep easy
Everyone knows how trouble sleeping can affect your mood. After a restless night, you can be irritable and struggle with basic tasks throughout the day, getting easily frustrated. If you are feeling down, the first place to make a change is with your sleeping pattern. If you find it hard to sleep at night, exercise can be a quick and long term fix. When running in the evening, your body temperature rises and then it drops down to a normal temperature at bedtime, your body knows it’s time to sleep. After a good rest, you will be in much better form the next morning.
5. Better together
The Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon has always been an event about running with friends and family. Getting a group of your friends together to train is a great way to catch-up and reconnect. Getting in the routine of going out for a walk in the evening for a talk or running with a good friend will help you forget about all the stress from your day. By training in a group together in the run up to the event, you will get in the habit of meeting up and spending more time together which should continue long after June 5th.
Chat with Vee, Vhi’s running chatbot on Facebook Messenger. Whether you’re looking to start running, or for motivation to keep running, Vee is full of tips, recipes and information to help you on your running journey!