How Running Can Relieve Your Stress
HOW RUNNING CAN RELIEVE YOUR STRESS
Reebok Boston Track Club Pro-Runner Amy-Eloise Neale talks about how running helps clear her head and how it can allow you to make time for yourself.
Sometimes you just need a break. It’s been a stressful week; you’ve got a lot on your mind and you just need a good release from the pressure. That’s where running comes in. Running has been known to be a sport of choice for a lot of people when they just need to escape or even let off a little steam. That’s because as a solo activity it really allows you time to think, breathe and recover from whatever stress is getting to you. You can go at your own pace or literally run it off. Either way you’re in control and just that break in the day can be life altering. As someone who runs for a full-time job, Reebok Boston Track Club athlete Amy-Eloise Neale knows a little something about how running can allow you that reprieve from anxiety and stresses of your life.
“Life is complicated; running usually isn't,” says Neale. “When I'm just going for an easy run, I often use the opportunity to process my emotions and think through whatever situation I am currently dealing with.” And there are different ways to use running to your advantage. “During my high intensity sessions, I simply tune into my body and my breathing and practice positive self-talk. I use those harder workouts to zone out and solely focus on what I want to achieve during that session. Either way, I'm using the simplicity of running reduce the stress of everyday life.” Neale says if you’re just starting out, make sure it’s a slow build so you can really get the most out of it.
“If you’ve never really run before, then I would suggest starting short and slow. Building gradually is crucial to preventing injury, and you can reap the mental health benefits of running, regardless of the speed you're going! And if you’re someone who tends to use running to process emotions, I'd advise giving yourself a strict time range to stay within so that you don't go overboard!” If you’re considering making running your form of exercise therapy check out four ways Neale says it can help to bring some much-needed stress relief into your life.
FOR STARTERS…RUNNER’S HIGH IS A REAL THING
Yes there is such a thing as runner’s high. It’s scientifically proven that when you do any form of exercise you increase your heart rate and stimulate those endorphins. Stress can also boost them but we recommend running instead. “Like any form of exercise, running releases endorphins which can support good mental health.”
IT GIVES YOU TIME TO YOURSELF
If we’re honest with ourselves, we could all use a little more “me time.” We’re all rushing through life 100 miles an hour and never really stop to give our brains a rest. Running is a great go-to whether you’re looking for a calming escape, during the day when you need to zone out or in the evening when you need to decompress from the stresses. “Running can become whatever you need it to be on a given day: your alone time, temporary escape from a stressful situation, a chance to process an important decision, or even that social hour you really needed. By making time for running, you are making time for YOU.”
IT CAN SET THE TONE FOR YOUR DAY
Those early morning runs can really be the best. It’s just gotten a little light out, it’s quiet and the stress of the day hasn’t hit you yet. Running can help you set your positive intention for the day and get your started on the right foot (pun intended). “I personally love my morning runs the most; I find that fitting a run in before the day really starts can make me feel more motivated overall. Especially if I've got a stressful day ahead, I like the feeling that I've already done something really productive, both physically and mentally. Plus, there is nothing more empowering than starting your day doing something that you didn't know you could!”
THE ROUTINE IS WORTH IT
Stress can really eat away at you. Getting yourself into a good running routine can be helpful especially during busy and stress-filled periods in your life. It allows for structure and something to look forward to during times of change. Say goodbye to your stresses by logging the miles instead. “So many people feel like they don't have enough time in the day to work out, but the great thing about running is that it is super accessible and relatively time efficient; all you need is a pair of trainers, and you're out the door.”