Every runner will tell you that running keeps them fit and healthy, but it also makes them happier.
Furthermore, they’ll tell you that their quality of life improves as well.Wondering how running can make a person happier?
Here are 5 reasons to get you started:
1. The runner’s high
Any vigorous exercise, running included, makes our bodies produce the chemical hormone called endorphins. As the chemical is introduced into the brain and the nervous system, it does a couple of things – it makes us feel more energetic and happier.
The release of feel-good endorphins occurs whenever the body is active – during workouts and during leisure runs around the block. It is called the “runner’s high” for a reason. A runner experiences euphoria, a state in which mood becomes elevated during and after running.
2. Reaching your goals
How does one become happier by achieving goals in life? The act of running allows you to set and achieve personal goals, whether it be running 10 miles a week or getting in shape for a marathon.
Studies have shown that people are happy whenever they set goals, and it really doesn’t matter if they are reached or not. The progress and the joy of keeping at it triggers the elevated mood in people. Moreover, those who attained their goals experience a burst of happiness that can lead to working hard towards the next goal.
3. Excellent community support
The world of runners has diverse, friendly communities that makes anyone feel welcome should they decide to take up running. Runners are sociable and very supportive of each other.
Scheduling your runs with others in the area, talking about your passion for running or discussing running gear within a circle forms the backbone of an excellent group support. If you’re just starting out, the group can help you to research and invest in quality running shoes.
People are quite happy when they belong to a group with whom they have strong social connections with. If you’re unable to find a running community in your area, that’s fine. Just being able to find a small running group is enough to experience the exhilarating effects of happiness.
4. The empowerment factor
Regular runs will get you into great physical shape. You’ll be able to run faster, become stronger and become physically more capable. This empowerment leads you to take on challenges as they come.
The feeling that you can tackle anything that comes your way increases your self-confidence, which in turn empowers you to map out goals and achieve them. Running is a great hobby because it makes you happier by improving both your body and your mind.
5. Increased self-esteem
All the reasons listed above are great by themselves, but they all serve to achieve a higher purpose – increasing your self-esteem.
Being in better shape than ever, having close connections with people whom you share a passion with, the increased number of endorphins you get as you run and working towards a goal (and achieving them) empowers and increases self-esteem. This allows one to attain a higher level of happiness than non-runners.
It goes without saying that the happiest people are those who have healthy levels of self-esteem. So tie up your shoelaces and head into the great outdoors. Greater happiness is within your reach!
Do you run in a group? Let us know in the comments.