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The Many Psychological Benefits of Running

written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 8/28/2010

There are numerous psychological benefits of running, some more powerful than others. You might be surprised to learn what this vigorous kind of exercise can do for you!

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    It Really is Powerful

    running There are so many psychological benefits of running that many people participate in the exercise just for this reason. Although running can be an aggressive workout that requires discipline, commitment and plenty of energy, the benefits gained from running on a consistent basis can make a big difference in life in general. Once you have a good understanding of the benefits you can achieve from running in addition to easily maintaining a fit body, you might want to set up a running schedule immediately.

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    Running Helps Relive Stress and Anxiety

    Because running requires a lot of energy, there is only so much left after a nice long run. Your body is more inclined to use what energy is left to help keep you strong enough throughout the day, so there isn’t a lot of room left for pent up stress and anxiety. What’s more is that running can help cleanse the brain, which leaves your mental state feeling refreshed and relaxed after a workout. This can go a long way in keeping stress and anxiety at bay. The time you are afforded to think and come up with alternative ways to handle problems is also a major contributor to the healthier mindset of runners.

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    Running Boosts Self Confidence

    Running is a hard workout and being able to accomplish your goals will really increase confidence levels with each new milestone you reach. Most people make goals to work on when they run as so things don’t get stale and every time a goal is reached, there is another reason to pat yourself on the back. It’s only a matter of time before you have the confidence to try just about anything in life without feeling intimidated or unworthy.

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    Running Provides Additional Energy

    Opposite of what many people believe, running will contribute to a higher level of energy compared to those who do not participate in equally aggressive exercise regimens. Although you’ll probably rest after a long, exhausting run, you will find that you have an overall increase in your energy levels. You will probably wake up feeling more alert in the morning, you probably won’t need as much coffee and you might even find that you need to take a run just to get out pent up energy you accumulate throughout the day!

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    Running Can Help You Keep Addiction in Check

    One of the most stunning psychological benefits of running is being able to better fight addiction. Because your body uses a lot of energy and your brain has an opportunity to refresh itself during a workout, you will usually be able to keep a positive mind set when it comes to fighting urges to drink or use drugs. Many therapists suggest running and other vigorous workouts to their addicted patients. The bottom line is that running is simply another tool to use if you’re looking to live a strong, healthy, and vibrant life.

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    References

    The Runner's Guide: "The Benefits of Running" Retreived August 25, 2010

    Medicinet: "Running (Jogging) Health Benefits" Retreived August 25, 2010

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    Image Credits

    Flickr/Public Domain