Aside from the health benefits running imparts, there are also many
psychological benefits to a regular running program. Some of these
include the confidence and character that running builds, the stress
relief, and the attitude boost. Oh, and let's not forget the runner's
Running builds confidence like few other individual sports can.
It allows the runner to defeat trial after trial, growing stronger
and more sure of themselves with each footstrike. It allows you
to truly climb hills and clear obstacles. It provides a feeling
of empowerment and freedom that comes with knowing that your legs
and body are strong and capable. Confidence is even more a product
of running for those who lose weight and gain a better self-image
Stress relief is another huge benefit that running can provide.
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Whether by allowing you the time to think about life's problems
or time to escape them for awhile, tension easily flies by the wayside
as you fly over the miles. Distance runs are great for solving problems
that are nagging at you. What better than a 3 hour run all by yourself
to clear your mind and allow you to pin down an answer? Speed runs
are great for tearing through aggression and anger. Focus all that
emotion into a few sprints and you'll feel better in no time.
Aside from just the stress relief, running has also been proven
to improve attitude. Running, especially running outside and on
trails, creates a release of endorphins that can cause euphoria
(runner's high) or just a general sense of happiness. Running has
been used for years to treat clinical depression and addictions
of all kinds. Less tension, less depression, less fatigue, and less
confusion are just a few of the changes that patient's have seen
after beginning a regular running program. Running gives something
for them to focus on, allowing them to see something besides their
depressed state or addiction.
Along that line, running can help train the mind as much as it trains
the body. By making yourself overcome the obstacles that running
brings, you learn focus and determination. The will and strength
that gets your body through long runs or those runs you'd much rather
skip is what in turn strengthens your mind and gives you focus and
determination in other areas of your life.
As you can see, running is beneficial to the health of your body
and your mind. But running still has more benefits to provide.