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Run your mind calm

15 January 2020 Annie Johansen – The Garden Room Windmill Hill

There has been a recent rise in clients booking in with me for a massage in order to switch off and relax rather than dealing with the specific physical aches and pains they often come to me for.

Which got me thinking, instead of focusing this next article on your body in the lead up to the running season, it should focus on your mind.

Many people take up running for fitness, the same way that many people take up yoga for flexibility, yet it is the secondary side effect that keeps people hooked. Exercise in any form releases natural endorphins, the much loved 'happy hormones' and these help lift people's moods, giving them a free boost to cope with the daily grind of life's little (and large) stresses.

In addition to releasing hormones, running has many other brain benefits. Sometimes it's nice to have a reminder that while your body is getting fitter, so to is your mind:

Sense of accomplishment

From a quick jog around your local park, or nipping out on a lunch break for a 20 minute run to finishing your first marathon; knowing that you have raised your heart rate and got your body moving gives you a great sense of accomplishment. This in turn motivates you to make healthier lifestyle choices, which continues to help both your body and brain feel happier.   

Higher levels of vitamin D

Even during these long grey winter months, running outside for 20 minutes every day enables you to top up your vitamin D, which has the added benefits of decreasing memory loss and encouraging the removal of amyloid's (the protein fragments that can build up in the brain and cause dementia) before they develop into Alzheimers.      

Community Camaraderie  

In an increasingly isolated society, getting out to take part in races, whether it's a local park run, charity run, 10K or marathon, ensures you are part of a running community. Surrounded by fellow runners, supporters and crowds all pounding the pavement with the spirit of 'being in this together.' There is nothing quite like it.