Once you’ve pushed past those hellish first minutes, running can actually make you feel pretty good. It can put you in a better headspace after one of those days, keep you fit, and even connect you to your community. Whether you’re a keen runner, or a fan of the gentle jog – here’s CALM’s deep dive into what running can do for your head.
People often talk about the physical benefits of working up a sweat, but running comes with loads of benefits for our brains that aren’t always shouted about. A study showed that out of 14,000 runners, 82% said that running helped them to clear their mind, and 78% said it helped them to feel more in control. We asked trailrunner and running coach Maggie Dempsey why she champions this form of exercise:
“When I started running, I realised that wanting to do more for yourself isn’t a selfish act."
"It’s actually a very good thing because it gives you purpose in life. It’s also really great for your mental wellbeing because when you run the endorphins help you feel more relaxed and that can help you express how you feel more easily.
“Often what brings people back to running is the fact it offers a comfortable place where no one judges you. Everyone has their own story and everyone is on their own journey. When you speak to other runners and realise that, it can bring people together and allow them to process how they’re feeling.”
While dragging ourselves out of the house for a run can feel challenging sometimes (rainy day runners we salute you!), it can really be worth the initial push. If you held back a yawn when your mate was showing you their Strava profile, or barfed at people bragging about their 20 mile runs on social media, stick with us. Our no BS guide to running looks at everything from runner’s high, to improved focus and mood – here’s why you might want to take a leaf out of Usain Bolt’s book.