3 MIN READ | Health Psychology

Dennis Relojo-Howell

How Running and Jogging Benefit Your Mental Health

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Dennis Relojo-Howell, (2020, April 22). How Running and Jogging Benefit Your Mental Health. Psychreg on Health Psychology. https://www.psychreg.org/running-mental-health/
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Beyond the physical health advantages of jogging or running, there are also other psychological effects. Most of these involve improved mental strength, motivation, stress relief, and a robust emotional boost.

Jogging and cycling are physical fitness activities. This activity brings more nourishing blood to the brain, which will make you think more clearly. It activates the healthy mood-elevating chemicals in your brain as well. Fortunately, running and Jogging is not uncommon in our society. Some people buy branded shoes to run. You may not always need name-brand shoes, but it’s always best to go with shoes from a trusted manufacturer.

The difficulties you encounter will also help you understand more about yourself, experiences that can be carried on to other aspects of your life.

The changes in your brain

Running will also exercise the mind as well as helps strengthen the body. You learn to focus and to be determined to overcome obstacles and fatigue. You have a different perspective of the significant and little challenges and the potential to manage and solve them. The will and determination that takes your body into long workouts or out of the house when you decide to miss a workout session are what, in effect, allow your energy in certain aspects of your life.

This often refers to shifts within the brain itself. A study involved taking scans of competitive runners. What they discovered was that there were further links between the frontal-parietal network and certain regions of the brain connected with self-control and working memory. Researchers claim this is attributed to the improved cardiovascular ability and cognitive demands of running.

Running affects cell growth inside the brain

Training may also aid in the production of healthy brain cells. Exercise is one of the leading causes correlated with the development of new brain cells, a mechanism known as neurogenesis. In animal experiments, distance running was associated with enhanced cell production.

Research also shows that training can have significant benefits for the brain. In a report contrasting people involved in interval-training with those engaging in a moderately healthy lifestyle, the athletes demonstrated the most significant improvement in an executive capacity. Running enhances the ability to rapidly and easily move between mental activities.

Boosts to self-esteem and confidence

Running creates confidence that no other individual sports can do. It allows the runner to defeat trial after trial, growing more durable and more confident with every foot strike. This also helps you to scale hills and avoid hurdles. This gives you a sense of pride and liberation that comes with realising that your legs and body are powerful and effective.

Studies also showed that engaging in physical exercises, such as running and jogging, is closely linked to higher self-esteem. Daily exercise contributed to increased expectations of health and better body imagery, all of which were related to enhanced self-esteem.

Being able to see how far you have come in terms of your miles, distance, or general capacity to run may be incredibly inspiring and confidence-building.

Better stress relief

Stress relieving is another valuable benefit of running or jogging. Going for a jog may boost your mood in the short-term by helping keep your mind off your problems, but it can also contribute to longer-lasting stress relief benefits.

Evidence shows that keeping to your running schedule in periods of difficulty contributes to increased stamina, ensuring you are more prepared to tackle the obstacles life throws at you.

Feeling the ‘runner high’ causes feeling-good feelings that can improve confidence and fight rising tension. Scientists suggest that such good emotions arise when training causes the production of endorphins. Through brain scans, studies have found that a long-distance run improved opioid binding in many regions in the brain, which culminated in people experiencing a subjective sensation of euphoria.

Mood improvement

Beyond alleviating everyday tension, running and jogging may have a beneficial impact on your mood. The surge of the endorphin that you get after the run will contribute to a blast of well-being.

There is some indication that activity, such as running, can help to alleviate the effects of stress disturbances and anxiety disorders. In a 2013 review, activity was shown to be significantly more successful than no medication to minimise depressive symptoms. The study found, however, that exercise was no more effective than antidepressants.

Less pain, less sadness, less exhaustion, and less frustration are only a handful of the improvements that patients have experienced since beginning a routine regimen. Running allows them more to concentrate, helping them to consider something more than their sad condition or addiction.

Running is a defence against the brain consequences of ageing. Scientists set out to learn what was optimal for brain ageing, physical exercise, or brain function. They noticed that physical activity (in the case of running and other athletic activities) won the day based on brain scans, which revealed a lower risk of brain shrinkage and cognitive impairment in elderly participants.


Running is scientifically proven to bring the best out of a person. Known to cure depression, anxiety, and laziness, running and jogging have numerous benefits. Being healthy should be a goal of every person in the world because a healthy life is a happy life.


Image credit: Freepik

Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg. He interviews people within psychology, mental health, and well-being on his YouTube channel, The DRH Show

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