5 Reasons Why Running Can Lift Your Mood

October 25, 2021

The brain is arguably the driving force behind any type of work out; a positive mindset is essential to enjoy exercise and to see all the benefits.

A common mindset that people hold with working out is that it’s purely for physical results, hence why people who don’t see improvements give up so easily. What people don’t realise is that working out can be as good for your mind as it is for your body and can help lift your mood significantly.

Not everybody enjoys lifting weights and doing workouts, hence why running is a feasible option for anybody looking to improve physical appearance, fitness and mental stability, resulting in an overall lift in mood.

Here are five key reasons why running can lift your mood. 

Kind to your mind

Regardless of your mental state, running will become a therapy in itself to enhance your mood, making you feel miles better.

Let’s talk about Norepinephrine. It might not be a nice-looking word, but it can become your best friend! It is a hormone which acts as a stress reliever and is released into the blood after the body detects the occurrence of a stressful event.

But what does that have to do with running? Studies have proven that exercise such as running can boost the concentration levels of Norepinephrine in your body, allowing the brain to become more responsive to stress levels! It’s that simple - running can help relieve stress from your body and combat mental tension.

Stress and anxiety come as a pair most of the time, so we need to ensure anxiety is reduced as quickly as stress. During and after running, your body will release chemicals known as endorphins. These endorphins co-operate with the receptors in your brain that make you feel pain both physically and mentally. As a result, there is a sense of euphoria triggered in the body which some people label as a “runners high” giving you a more positive outlook on life!

Ultimately, the mental effects of running will lead to an overall brainpower boost. Cardiovascular exercise can create proteins in the brain which can lead to enhanced decision making, higher thinking ability and a positive outlook on learning. Alongside new brain cells created from cardiovascular exercise and stress-combatting hormones released into the blood, you are likely to see a great improvement on your mental health with running as part of your routine!

A chance to see friends in a different environment

Looking for a running partner or worried about running alone? Why not organise running with a friend? Whether you’ve had a tough day at work or a busy week, seeing a friend can always seem like a relief and a break away from any stress.

We all like to socialise with our friends, so why not use running as an excuse to meet up and detach yourself from mental stress? Going for a run then a coffee and catch up afterwards is just one of many excuses to go running together. Finding yourself a running partner may become a life-changing practise you never look back on!

Healthy Food = Healthy Mind

Running is an effective activity, and a good nutritious diet to go hand in hand with it can produce incredible results. Most of us will agree that fruit and vegetables aren’t the most attractive foods to eat, however with more regular exercise and positive effects on your mind, it is likely that you’ll feel more room for healthy foods.

Studies have backed this evidence up and it is known as the ‘transfer effect’- triggering the desire for improvement in multiple areas of your life as soon as there is improvement in a primary area. In this case, running regularly and improving your physical wellbeing is likely to trigger the desire to improve wellbeing as a whole in the form of diet and mental health practise.

Boosts self-confidence and self-image

Self-confidence is something in the back of our minds every minute of our lives, so why not ensure that your confidence is as strong as possible?

When we do aerobic exercise, such as running, we feed our brains with valuable nutrients and oxygen which improves our cognitive function as a whole. After exercise, it is natural to feel more focused and able to attack the rest of the day with a positive mindset, improving our self-esteem and self-confidence.

If we think about the benefits of running on the physical side, what’s better for self-confidence than getting fit, losing unwanted weight and building a physique that will make you proud to look in the mirror?

Experts have proven that oxygen and nutrients are transported to our skin whilst waste products and oxidative stress are flushed out of our system as a result of running. As a result, our skin has a better chance of maintaining a healthy glow, which works simultaneously with anti-ageing via wrinkles etc. due to the removal of stress.

So, we can improve our physical wellbeing whilst improving our mental wellbeing simultaneously? Maybe running is the underrated exercise we’ve been missing!


Vitamin D intake

Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ as it produced in our skin from sunlight shining on us. It is produced naturally and can also be attained via certain foods and supplements, but neither of those beat a bit of direct sunlight! If you live in the UK, it’s a shame this isn’t as possible as we’d like, but we can still try and make the most of it!

The sunshine vitamin is essential for our body as it regulates the absorption of calcium and facilitates a normal immune system in multiple ways. Not only does it help us physically by fighting disease, but the mental effects it can have on us are incredible.

Research has proven that Vitamin D deficiency is more common with people experiencing anxiety and depression and once more Vitamin D supplements were received, these people noticed an improvement in their symptoms! For those who have trouble fighting depression, Vitamin D could be one of the saviours you’ve been searching for.

Ultimately, running is a very feasible exercise for anyone, but it is important to understand that it does not matter how far or how long you run for, as long as you are seeing positive results then you have achieved your goal!