You know, you really can run away from stress. The benefits of physical exercise on relieving anxiety, stress and tension is well documented. And this time of year, I feel like we could all use some relief. I know it’s supposed to be that jolly, happy, festive time of year, but I usually find this time of year crammed with a perfect storm of stress creators, not to mention the probable SAD we all suffer from with a measly 7 hours of daylight in London. In fact, I just read that the earliest sunset in London was just a few days ago. December 13. The sun set at 3:51!
That’s why making time for running is critical, even when time is limited. And running is just one way to get that positive benefit. Any physical activity can help fight depression and anxiety because it actually causes chemical changes in the brain which can positively alter the mood. That’s why it is an often prescribed medicine for people suffering with depression or severe anxiety.
The benefits of exercise and mental health are vast and I have experienced them all. Here’s a few of the more obvious ones:
- Less tension and stress
- Sense of accomplishment, even if everything else is failing
- Improved sleep
- A natural energy boost
- Less anger and frustration; an ability to logically tackle tasks that would have really annoyed you on a different day
- A healthy appetite
- Different perspective and context
So, get out there and go for a run. Maybe bring a headlamp because it’s dark. All. The. Time.
Looking forward to brighter days and lighter schedules.