Amazing Mental Health Benefits of Running

The physical health benefits of running are aplenty, including building musculature, improving cardiovascular health, and getting a fitter body. However, you would be surprised to learn that running also provides immense mental health benefits.

Isn’t it great that the benefits of running extend to your mind, body, and soul?. Due to the release of feel-good hormones, “endorphins” serve as a stimulant.

The moment you slip into your running shoes and hit the track, your heart begins to pump harder for circulating the blood at a great speed, and the adrenaline starts rushing through the veins. It results in numerous mental health benefits.

9 Mental Health Benefits of Running

Reduces symptoms of clinical depression

The findings of various studies have shown that running effectively reduces the symptoms of depression. It works as effectively as psychotherapy for declining depressive symptoms.

Running improves your body’s ability to deal with stress as it leads to increased concentrations of norepinephrine that help in moderating your brain’s response to stressful conditions.

When you run outside under sunshine, it helps your body produce vitamin D that decreases the chances of experiencing depressive symptoms.

Prevents cognitive decline

Running helps in improving the ability of the brain for slowing down cognitive decline. Running releases the chemicals in your brain that prevents the degeneration of the hippocampal region. This area of the brain is responsible for memory and learning.

Running regularly improves your learning abilities as per the study’s findings; both low-impact aerobic running and high-intensity running boost your brain’s capacity to learn and retain new information.

These running forms lead to increased levels of the neurotransmitter catecholamine and the protein BDNF, which are hugely responsible for the brain’s cognitive and learning functions.

Alleviates anxiety

The studies have proven that running works wonders in alleviating anxiety and helps you to relax.

Running releases chemicals in your body that takes you to a calmer state of mind. It may also serve as medication for relieving the symptoms of anxiety.

Boosts brain power and improves memory

Running boosts your brainpower and sharpens your memory.

The high-intensity running and low-impact aerobic running increase brain-derived protein levels in the body that help in higher thinking, decision-making, and learning new things.

Treat symptoms of insomnia

Running can make you sleep better. During and after running, your body’s core temperature increases, and when it drops back to normal a few hours later during bedtime, you feel sleepy.

It can be used as an effective therapy for treating the symptoms of insomnia.

Boosts self-esteem

Running has been associated with improved self-esteem. As per the multiple studies’ findings, running leads to higher levels of self-esteem in runners who achieved higher PACER scores by running more laps at a faster speed.

Thus, running not only provides improved physical fitness but also lifts your self-esteem levels.

Increased productivity

Running has been linked with increased productivity at home and office. The research findings show that those workers who run regularly are more productive and active than their peers who don’t run.

Reduces cravings for unhealthy foods 

Do you find it hard to shun the cravings for junk food, drugs, or even alcohol? Start running as it helps you to reduce the cravings for unhealthy and junk food items.

Moreover, running has been linked to reducing cravings for drugs like cocaine, nicotine, or alcohol.

Increases creativity

Running helps in increasing creativity in the runners for up to 2 hours after completing the running.

It refreshes your mood and boosts out-of-the-box thinking ability. When you run, your brain releases chemicals that trigger your creative genes.


Running works great for your body, but multiple studies have suggested that it provides immense benefits for your mind as well. Whether you are a high-intensity runner or a low-impact aerobic runner, running provides amazing mental effects.

Among the various psychological benefits of running, experiencing the runner’s high provides an emotional boost like none other. Running allows you to enjoy increased self-esteem, sharpened memory, reduced stress, increased creativity, and various other benefits


Preksha is passionate about writing articles that will inspire readers to make better choices. You will find her eating desserts for lunch, dinner and any time of the day. Also, she is the chief playlist engineer for any road trip.

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