How Running Can Help You Psychologically

imagesWe all know running can boost your fitness, help you lose weight and create a stronger heart. But did you know running can assist you in other ways?

In a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), a simple 30 minutes on a treadmill can lift the spirits of those suffering from major depression. They took 40 participants and divided them into a control group and a group who walked for 30 minutes on a treadmill. All were recently diagnosed with major depressive disorder. They then took surveys before the test period and at 5-, 30-, and 60-minute intervals after their half-hour periods of rest or exertion.

Only the group who exercised noticed a positive change in feelings.

In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that a daily morning running routine improved sleep and psychological functioning. Researchers used 51 participants assigned to either a running group or a control group. The running group went running every morning for 30 minutes at moderate intensity during weekdays for 3 consecutive weeks. Researchers measured sleeping patterns in both groups.

Results showed the running group had improved sleep and stayed more positive throughout the day.

A 2007 study in Physiological & Behavior showed that running releases the same neurochemicals as taking drugs. And obviously, it’s a whole lot healthier.

So even 30 minutes a day can help improve your move and help you sleep better. It also follows the American Heart Association’s recommended daily activity.