Running lowers stress

Feeling stressed? Reach for your running shoes…

I’m not a natural runner and I certainly don’t enjoy running. But when I’m feeling stressed, I (reluctantly) grab my running shoes and head outdoors for a run. Because I may dislike running, but I do like that feeling I get afterwards.

Running lowers stress

I’ve been feeling a bit stressed recently. And this makes motivation for going running even harder! But I know when I make myself go, it helps to reduce my feelings of stress. It doesn’t matter how far or how fast I run, it’s just about doing it. And for the time that I’m running, I’m 100% focused on just putting (or should that be plodding?!) one foot in front of the other. In fact, I think running is a great mindfulness tool.

And research is showing all this to be true. Research shows that running can help us to relax, worry less, and break negative thought cycles which are all symptoms of stress. If you still need convincing, take a look at the Mind website, which highlights numerous health benefits for getting active.

Why run outdoors?

Just being outdoors is good for us. Even just 5 minutes in nature has positive effects on our health and wellbeing.

So why not combine the positive benefits of running and being in nature?

Tips for motivating yourself to go running

My tips are:

  • Don’t put pressure on yourself to run a certain distance or time – doing it is all that matters
  • Push yourself to go even when you don’t feel like running – challenge your excuses
  • Run in the rain – don’t be put off, it’s exhilarating
  • Enjoy the outdoor gym – being outdoors is good for you, plus it’s free!

There’s some useful running tips for beginners on the NHS website. I particularly enjoy going to ParkRun because you’re running outdoors and with a friendly group of like-minded, supportive people.

So next time you’re feeling a bit stressed, reach for those running shoes and just give it a go.

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