Running is the perfect activity for your mental and physical health right now. If you’re not self-isolating due to international travel or contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, running in a non-crowded area is safe and encouraged. Just remember to obey the social distancing regulations, keeping 1.5metres between yourself and any other person.
We have formulated a list of why it is more important than ever to keep running:
Stress management. Running can control stress and improve the body’s ability to deal with existing mental strain. Exercise also enhances your ability to concentrate norepinephrine, a chemical that assists in moderating the brain’s response to stress.
Calms the body and mind. Running can act as a form of meditation, and in these unprecedented times may be just what you need to cope on those tough days. The chemicals released during and after running can help people experiencing anxiety feel calmer.
Daily intake of Vitamin D. Running outside on a sunny day helps your body produce vitamin D, a nutrient that can decrease symptoms of depression.
Improved brainpower. Cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells and boost overall brain performance. A challenging run increases levels of a brain-derived protein in the body, believed to help with decision-making, higher thinking and learning.
Increased productivity. Feeling unmotivated? Running can increase productivity in all areas of your life. Not only will a run give you more energy and stop that afternoon fatigue slump, it keeps momentum and improves mental capacity. Research shows that workers who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than peers who are less active.
Better sleep. For some, a moderate run can be the equivalent of a sleeping pill, even for people with insomnia. Moving around five to six hours before bedtime raises the body’s core temperature. When the body temp drops back to normal a few hours later, it signals the body that it’s time to sleep.