The next time you don’t feel like lacing up for a nice indoor or outdoor jog consider these 6 fantastic benefits of jogging for the mind.
Aside from the obvious physical benefits of jogging, or any other physical exercise, there are several brain-related reasons why you should consider taking up jogging as soon as tomorrow.
Some think of jogging as a mundane, unimportant activity, but before ruling it out in your search for suitable exercise, consider these 6 fantastic benefits of jogging for your mind.
JOG YOUR WAY TO A HEALTHY BRAIN
Jogging is a rhythmic, repetitive, consistent movement, which gives the brain relief from ruminative thinking (thinking repetitive, unhappy thoughts). You may feel uncomfortable and exhausted at the beginning.
However, over some period of time the body starts to work hand in hand with the mind and it becomes less and less physically demanding.
After the physical distress is removed and will power is strong, the exercising becomes fully enjoying and pleasant and its true properties are revealed. Once you turn it into a routine, you will actually crave exercise.
Research has shown that moderate-intensity physical activity, like jogging, is highly beneficial. It helps in releasing chemicals like endorphins, the mood-boosting hormone.
It also isn’t too intense and demanding for the body and the mind, especially for beginners or non-sporty types.
Low – intensity exercise sustained over time holds the true value to achieving mental benefits, since it spurs the release of proteins called growth factors, which cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections.
NOT FEELING SO GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF? TRY JOGGING
Team sports are connected to enhancing self-esteem and confidence due to the social aspect of them. Individual sports can also give a sense of self and inner stability.
It’s great having a sense of achievement when you contribute to your team. It’s also satisfying when you are capable of accomplishing something just for yourself.
Jogging gives you the opportunity to start small – slow. Gradual progress leads to visible results over time. When there’s tangible proof of success, it makes all of the effort worth it.
With that being said, jogging is a great way to meet other joggers and running enthusiasts.
The running community is very big and there are various sites and forums helping runners become better and more skilled at what they do. They often offer support, encouragement and share their experiences and struggles in these forums.
Resources like Jogging Addiction and similar are great for getting informed about the best gear and equipment suitable for your running proficiency and preferences.
Having a sense of belonging and acceptance is also very beneficial for mental health, boosting self-esteem and confidence. In addition, getting involved into a group of local joggers may be a great motivation for sticking to what you’ve started and not letting down your running buddies.
GET RID OF STRESS AND ANXIETY WITH EACH JOGGING STEP
Going for a jog may help you in the short-term by helping get your mind off troubles and worry, but it can also be beneficial in the long run. Sticking to your running regimen in times of stress leads to greater resilience, meaning you are better able to handle the challenges life throws at you.
Experiencing that “runner’s high” triggers feel-good emotions that can boost your mood and reduce stress. Again, this has to do with the mood enhancers, endorphins, which very much control the way you feel and behave accordingly.
In addition to that, jogging is great for alienating from all of the fuss at work or home, so creating some “me time” and sticking to your everyday jogging routine can make your brain learn to relax and completely isolate from worries and stress, during that one hour of quality time just reserved for yourself.
SHARPEN YOUR MEMORY WITH JOGGING
The part of the brain that responds strongly to aerobic exercise (cardio) is the hippocampus.
Studies done on the topic clearly show that this brain structure grows as people get fitter. Since the hippocampus is at the core of the brain’s learning and memory systems, this finding partly explains the memory-boosting effects of improved cardiovascular fitness.
Slow to medium – pace running is a perfect example of healthy cardio exercising, since it’s not too demanding on the joints and is suitable for all ages and profiles, not requiring any previous fitness or athletic skill.
JOGGING MAKES YOU SMARTER?
Jogging won’t exactly turn you into Einstein, but it can optimize your brain for learning better and faster. Physical activity boosts the flow of blood to the brain that is responsible for memory and learning. It also promotes the production of new brain cells.
This can prove very effective for young people who take up sports at a young age.
Not only is it beneficial for improving learning ability, but also for gaining a sense for discipline, dedication and perseverance, which is very much connected to success in other areas of life.
YOUNG MIND – BETTER LONGEVITY
The evidence that staying physically fit keeps your brain healthy into old age is especially compelling. Most concrete is the link between aerobic fitness and cognitive preservation.
Workouts need not be extreme to be effective. Moderate – intensity exercise helps fend off mental wear and tear.
Jogging is an activity the elderly can consider taking up due to the mental health benefits. Exercising regularly from an early age gives optimal mind health results for the future.
Next time you get nervous about your mental state, consider incorporating activity into your everyday schedule. You won’t regret it.
Put on some running shoes and potentially extend your life with each step.