7 Ways Running Makes You Happier

A woman sitting in tall grass with a black bowler hat smiling after running

We all know that running benefits our heart, bones, and everything in between. But are you familiar with the ways that running can make you a happier person? It is an excellent example of just how complex and amazing the human body really is. Each and every physical workout does wonders for our overall health.

It does not stop at our physical well-being. When you run on the regular, everything inside your body works harder to help each other out. In a way, it is like a teamwork exercise between your most crucial body parts. That includes your brain, too. Paired with eating a diet full of vegetables and staying hydrated throughout the day, your emotional and mental health will flourish. As a result, you will be ready to take on whatever life throws at you.

Remember, you do not have to be an Olympic athlete in order to reap the benefits. It is totally acceptable to start slow. Begin with a running routine that works for your comfort zone, skill level, and experience. Brush up on the habits that might sabotage your run. Over time, you will become a better runner while tending to your emotional and mental health. Count me in!

1. Endorphin levels rise

Running causes your brain and nervous system to secrete neurotransmitters called endorphins. These feel-good chemicals are responsible for that euphoric "runner's high" that makes you feel like you're on top of the world. Endorphins also prevent the transmission of pain signals, letting you feel nothing but good vibes. See you later, crummy feelings.

2. Stress levels decrease

It goes without saying that stress is a normal part of life. In small doses, it fuels motivation and productivity. But when it builds up, stress can make you feel down in the dumps. This is where running comes to the rescue. According to research, exercise increases your tolerance to stressful situations. This means that you will be less likely to experience anxiety and panic. Running paves the way for improved mood control, helping you keep your head on straight during times of stress.

3. Social interactions are encouraged

Social relationships are crucial for mental health. They keep our minds stimulated and our hearts full. I mean, even introverts need "people time" every now and then. When you run on a regular basis, you're more likely to get out there and socialize. You can even schedule running dates with a friend or co-worker to encourage a regular exercise regime. This is an awesome opportunity to get your heart pumping while getting a dose of human interaction. It's the epitome of a win-win situation.

4. Sleep is better

Running uses up your energy in a healthy way. It also regulates your sleep schedule and limits insomnia. As a result, you'll be ready to curl up once bedtime comes around. Running also improves the quality and duration of your shut-eye, ensuring that your mental and emotional integrity is in good shape. The American Psychological Association even shares that if most Americans slept more, they would be happier and healthier. Running can help you with just that.

5. Energy levels increase

While running can benefit your sleeping patterns, it can also boost your energy levels. Even low-to-moderate aerobic exercise three days a week can kick fatigue and lethargy. Running encourages blood flow to all your organs, making sure they have sufficient oxygen and nutrients. Unsurprisingly, your brain is high up on that list. Running serves as a pick-me-up for both your body and mind.

6. Setting goals becomes easier

Becoming a regular runner takes self-motivation and focus. It also happens to double as excellent practice for creating goals and pushing yourself to meet them. After all, every single running achievement comes with the realization that you have what it takes to go the extra mile (pun intended). Remember, it doesn't matter if these goals are big or small. Everything adds up in the end. And when you gain experience setting and meeting goals, you'll be more likely to apply it to other areas of your life. Cheers to that.

7. Confidence develops

As you work toward your health and running goals, your confidence will build up over time. This outcome is a culmination of several awesome things. Improved concentration, less stress, and meeting goals like a boss lady are just a few of those results. Add it all together and what do you get? Confident feel-good vibes from the inside out.

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