Running makes you happy. Most runners know this nostrum. But why does running make you happy? For some, running gives you a sense of personal achievement and satisfaction, for others it is escaping the everyday madness and for other, it is about being outdoors and connecting with nature. In any case, running is an activity that is accessible to most people. There is no need for formal training, special equipment or membership fees. The only thing you really need is a decent pair of running shoes and some comfortable clothing. Running outdoors is also very different from cycling on the spinning bike indoors. Read below to see more on our top reasons why running makes you happy.

Reason 1: Runner’s High

Running is known to release endorphins in the brain that trigger a positive feeling in the body. Endorphins make a person more energetic, alert and happy. This feeling is referred to as a “runner’s high,” which can kick in during a run, after or both. In addition, according to a Canadian study, the runner’s high may also be due to the hormone leptin. When you’re in motion, your leptin levels drop, which researchers suggest could send a hunger signal to the brain to generate a sense of pleasure. Running also encourages your body to release serotonin which elevates your mood.

Reason 2: Better Shape

Running like any other type of vigorous exercise helps you to get into better physical shape. The better shape you are in, the stronger you will feel. Being in better shape affects not only your body and overall wellbeing but also improves your mental state. Make sure you hydrate properly before and after your run. Drink electrolytes or take supplements if you need to.

Reason 3: Flexibility

You can run as little or as much as you want, in short spurts or longer runs. You can fit it during your lunch hour (runch), do it first thing in the morning before you head out to work, or after work as a way to wind down. You can do it a few times a week or just during the weekend. Whatever you decide, whatever you choose, you have the flexibility to customise your workout to fit your lifestyle.

Reason 3: Me-time

Running is the perfect time to get away from the everyday humdrum and escape. Not only will you get some quiet time, exercise, get away from the craziness, you will also get that coveted me time. Running will help you clear your mind and achieve a level of calmness, almost Zen-like.

Reason 4: Sense of Community

Running can provide a supportive social group. Even though running is an individual activity, it can actually help you connect with other inspiring people. Runners are very supportive of each other and are actually quite social. There are many online groups that provide advice, motivation, experiences and tips. Running with friends or interacting with other runners you meet along the way, can provide connections and a supportive network.

Reason 5: Self-Esteem and Confidence

Running improves your self-esteem and confidence by increasing endorphins, getting in better shape, working towards a goal and achieving them. Bettering your own performance and goals will boost your confidence and keep you running for more.

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Author

Melvin is an experienced Swimming Coach, Outdoor Teacher, and Youth Leadership Trainer with more than 8 years of experience. During his free time, he enjoys a healthy dose of reading, travelling and writing.

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