Sometimes, the best therapy doesn’t come from a trip to the doctor. It can come in the form of a simple pair of running shoes, as farfetched as that may sound for some people.
While going on a run can seem like a torturous exercise that is far from most people’s idea of relaxation, it actually has plenty of benefits beyond the realm of fitness.
For one, solo running gives you time for solitude. Running is (ironically) a chance for you to slow down and a time for reflection. That's because when you run by yourself, it’s just you, your body, and the open road ahead of you. This translates to a breath of fresh air for your mental state, and is a great way to recalibrate your brain to have a positive outlook. Below, we outline a few mental benefits of running solo.
It starts your day in the right way
Many runners like to get up while most of the world remains asleep. There is a certain level of calm when you get to run just as the sun starts to peek out from the horizon, and running at this time also allows you to start your day on the right note. An article on Business Insider explains that exercising at daybreak is valuable to your morning routine and can set the flow for the rest of your day. After all, running is built on momentum — physical, mental, and emotional — and productivity operates the same way.
It boosts your mood
“Runner’s high” isn’t some marketing scheme forged by your favorite sports brands. Those are actually your endorphins at work, when your brain and body are able to transform pain into pleasure. Nothing is more fulfilling than being able to push your limits and emerge stronger and more empowered than ever before. Thrive Global notes that even a single 30-minute run has the ability to uplift your mood and fight off stress.
It makes you more aware
Running forces you to pay attention to each part of your body — from how the soles of your feet land on the ground, to the way your arms move in sync with your legs. In a previous post here on the FlipBelt blog, we even talked about the importance of proper breathing, and how it can be a central focus on your runs. Contrary to popular belief, running is more than just putting one foot in front of the other, as long distance runner Jonathan Beverly calls it a recipe for inner peace. “This chance to pay attention is also why I don’t listen to music or podcasts,” he explains. “The rhythm of the run is music enough. [It’s] a time when I can pause the barrage of inputs, to hear the quiet sounds our society’s cacophony often drowns out — or to hear from myself for a change.”
It builds confidence
As you complete the goals you set for yourself, you gain an exhilarating feeling of empowerment knowing what you’re capable of. In life, confidence is indispensable to mental strength. According to Maryville University, psychologists agree that mental health and success are tied together. Because running boosts your self-esteem, you’re more likely to approach life’s challenges with the perspective that you can do it, instead of giving in to negativity and doubt. True enough, a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health confirms this. The researchers evaluated a group of adolescents who ran laps between markers, and found that those who moved at a faster pace exhibited higher levels of self-esteem, on top of better physical fitness.
To reap the most benefits and achieve maximum “me-time,” you need the right tools. The next time you go on a solo run, bring our FlipBelt with you. That way, you can channel your complete focus into your run instead of being weighed down by anything unnecessary.
Article specially written for flipbelt.com
By Alisha Crest