In my recent articles I have focussed on jogging and the related health benefits you can enjoy by practising this activity. In these articles I briefly covered the benefits jogging could have on your mental fitness. Today I want to discuss this area in greater detail and provide you with four mental benefits of regular jogging.
1) IT CAN IMPROVE YOUR CONFIDENCE:- When you jog you are overcoming both personal obstacles (running faster, running longer distances etc) and physical obstacles (running up hills, running on tough terrain etc). By proving that you can overcome these obstacles you build confidence and gain the mental strength to overcome other obstacles in your day to day life.
2) IT CAN HELP YOU OVERCOME ANGER:- Everyone experiences anger. Anger is a natural emotion and is not inherently good or bad. However, there are good and bad ways to deal with anger. A bad way to deal with anger is through physical or verbal aggression towards other people. A good way to deal with anger is exercise as it allows you to release it physically without impacting other people.
Jogging is a particularly good exercise for releasing anger as it gives you both a physical and mental release. The actual exercise allows you to physically get the anger out of your system whilst the alone time you get from jogging provides you with an opportunity to think about and deal with the anger in a more calm and collected state.
3) IT CAN IMPROVE YOUR MOOD:- One of the most well publicised benefits of jogging and running is the “runner’s high”. During a long distance jog or run endorphins are released and attach themselves to areas of the brain associated with emotion. This causes many runners to experience a state of euphoria which is referred to as the “runner’s high”. Not only does this improve your mood but it is also an effective way to combat anger, depression and stress.
4) IT CAN HELP YOU BECOME MORE FOCUSSED AND DETERMINED:- In order to constantly push yourself on long runs you need to be focussed on the task at hand and determined not to give up. You need to be constantly pushing yourself to achieve more. This brings about improved focus and determination. These skills can be applied to other areas of your life and make you more successful in these areas.
As you can see jogging is not just good for your body – it is also good for your mind. So next time you are feeling angry, unhappy or your confidence is at an all time low why not go for a jog and see what it does for you? At the very worst you will burn a few additional calories but if all goes well you will come back feeling much more happy, confident and upbeat.
Now I want to hear your thoughts. Are there any regular joggers out there who have experienced the above mental benefits? Are there any further mental benefits of jogging that I have missed? Do you agree that jogging is a good way to improve your mental fitness? Let me know by leaving a comment.