Murphy Runs Column: The mental benefits of running

MK has become a runner’s paradise thanks to its amazing network of parks and Redways. Local blogger Murphy Runs explains how getting out and about is her favourite way of clearing her head and switching off…

Running is hard. It requires effort.

Sometimes the rapid breathing hurts our chest and our legs start to burn or our knees feel funny from the pounding of our feet against the ground.

Running requires heading out in the cold and running in a big circle and then ending up exactly in the same place you started.

It’s easy to see why people question someone’s love of running, so this month, I’d like to share my reasons for running.

Like most of us, I like to stay fit and healthy, but I also like chicken nuggets and chocolate (no, not together).

Exercise is therefore crucial to make sure all of those things stay in my life, but whilst I could hit the gym or lift weights to achieve this, running simply takes me to a place I am addicted to.

I somehow find a mind-set that I cannot enter during any other activity. Running is also the only time my brain switches off.

Personally, I cannot switch off through popular mindfulness techniques such as meditation or yoga, but I can during a run.

In day to day life, I am an over-thinker and I often let little details get in the way of my day. But when I am running, my phone is away, there is no one but myself that cares about what I am doing, I am running through woodlands that are awake whilst the rest of the world is sleeping and I am simply elated.

I become so disconnected from everyday work and life, that I somehow become incredibly connected with myself. I don’t just run to keep fit, or to lose weight.

I do it for the mental benefits that come with the endorphin rush – the ‘runners high’. I appreciate every mile that I am able to run, outside in the fresh air.

This month, my mission for you is to head-out for a run purely to clear your head or to get a rush of those exercise-induced endorphins. Speed and distance aside. Just do it for you.

Follow Anastasia’s running adventures on Instagram @MurphyRuns

This feature was published in the March 2020 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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