6 Ways Running Influences Your Mood

It's no secret that daily habits impact your physical, mental, and emotional health. This is exactly why it's so crucial to think about how running influences your mood. Sure, the concept of runner's high has been a long established result of running. But do you know exactly why it happens? If you're shrugging your shoulders, don't worry. This is where this list comes in.

There are so many factors that come into play. By understanding how running directs your mood, you'll be more likely to appreciate the ways your body parts work together. And once you look at the details, you'll find that it's a truly amazing thing. To top it off, learning about these connections will help you become a better runner. It's the best way to promote mindfulness and understanding as you give your body the workout it deserves.

Of course, many things happen to your body when you run. A shift in your mood is just the beginning. So many aspects of your health will flourish thanks to the simple act of running. Keep things interesting by practicing yoga, lifting, or dancing on the side. Together, these healthy habits will have you feeling like your best self.

1. Serotonin increases

When you exercise, your body produces more of a neurotransmitter called serotonin. This neurological chemical sends signals throughout your body by way of your nerves. It also happens to impact your mood, emotions, and self-esteem. The more you run, the more serotonin levels will increase. Awesome.

2. Endorphin levels rise

Thanks to endorphins, runner's high is a real thing. Like serotonin, this neurotransmitter is the mastermind behind your mood, happiness, and energy levels. Your brain releases endorphins when you run. Runner's high develops, paired with some major stress relief.

3. Oxygen flows better

Running gets your blood pumping in the best way. As it travels throughout your body, it delivers oxygen to all the important parts — including your brain. And since adequate oxygen is key to a healthy functioning brain, mood and memory will benefit from running. Physical activity even stimulates the formation of new neural connections, giving your brain a literal workout. How cool is that?

4. Soreness is relieved

It goes without saying that tense shoulders and an achy back aren't fun. And when you're sitting (or standing) at work all day, it's easy for the body to get uncomfortable. Instead of reaching for another ibuprofen, try running. By working out your muscles and bones, you'll be able to release all that tension. The end result will be a happier body — and you.

5. Social interaction is more likely

Whether or not you like to admit it, social interaction is essential for overall health. Even the biggest introverts need some socializing every now and then. When you start running, you open up the door for potential bonding moments with friends and family. Sure, it's easy to do alone. But when you have a running partner-in-crime, motivation is more likely to happen. They can also double as a much needed source of encouragement and assurance.

6. Sleeping is easier

While running is awesome for boosting energy, it also can help regulate your sleep cycle. When you "come down" from that runner's high, your body is more likely to settle down in a calm and healthful way. Come night time, you'll be more mentally prepared to sleep. And since adequate shut eye is crucial for good vibes, sleeping should definitely be on your list. No one likes to be a sleep-deprived grump, after all.

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