Skip to main content

Five-ways running improves your cognitive abilities and mood.

A breeze hits your ankles and as you step out of the hotel lobby onto the sidewalk. Looking up, the sky is pinkish-blue with the promise of a new day coloring the sky that stretches out above the skyscrapers. A different cityscape, a busy schedule, but this is your hour.

Whether the run is two miles or 10, the benefits of beginning your day with a cardio session are numerous — including the obvious physical effects, such as improved overall health, immunity and endurance, a lower resting heart rate and more. Not surprisingly, running and other endurance activities also provide compelling brain benefits.

5 Research-Backed Benefits for Your Brain:

  1. Immediate relief from anxiety and depression. Running triggers the release of endorphin neurotransmitters, which provide feel-good effects and alleviate anxious feelings. To reap optimal benefits, Mayo Clinic researchers recommend three to five sessions per week of 30 minutes/session.
  2. A better physical response to stress. Running helps your mind refocus and enhances clarity of thought.
  3. Heightened self-esteem. Endurance training helps with goal-setting and confidence built around achievement. Repetition and racking up small wins by adding mileage and reducing times are a great process for gaining self-confidence in physical and mental abilities.
  4. Reduced risk of cognitive decline. Running promotes healthy blood flow to the brain, reducing the risk of deterioration.
  5. Counteract workplace burnout. “Occupational burnout is a costly and very real part of the modern workforce, costing employers millions of dollars each year. For employees, burnout can come in many forms, affecting your physical, mental, and behavioral health,” reports Ohio University. “New research has found that by exercising outdoors, employees will feel more revitalized, less tense, and more ready to tackle tasks the next day.”

Running provides an immense amount of benefits. If you like your meditation in motion, running gives back tenfold with short- and long-term benefits for your wellness. Find your pace to awaken and energize your mind.