Does running make you happy?

Does running make you happy?

Are you a runner? Then you know that one foot in front of the other at speed is really addictive.

If you aren’t a runner, you may be wondering what it is all about. So here are four of the reasons why running makes people happy.

1.    BEING IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Complaining about our weather is an unofficial national sport, but the UK actually has a very benign climate. It might be damp at times, but it is rarely so hot or so cold that we can’t get outside. Running is a perfect way to combine exercise with the joys of fresh air. Even if your run is in a city, there are parks and gardens to run through or landmarks and interesting buildings. Add all the possible choices of route and you’ll never be bored with your run.

There’s no running season – it works whatever the weather. You can go running in the rain, laugh in the face of winter and cope happily with summer heat. Or take it inside to the treadmill if the weather really is too much.

2.    THE JOY OF MOVEMENT

They don’t call it ‘getting into your stride’ for nothing. The rhythm of running is one of its greatest pleasures. It might be to the sound of your favourite tunes or simply with the noises of your surroundings. Whatever the soundtrack, feeling your body move and improve is one of the true joys of a run.

3.    THE RUNNER’S HIGH

There is some serious science behind the idea of the runner’s high, with no doubt that it is a real phenomenon. We are literally ‘born to run’, dating from the times when that was the only way to guarantee a meal. Our bodies generate endorphins which reward us for chasing up the food, encouraging us to keep moving in the interests of survival.

4.    THE FUN OF GETTING FITTER

As well as being fun, running uses those calories and gets those muscles working. It is easy to see progress as the same distance gets easier, or you find that you can run for longer each time you try. You can track your progress with apps, or just enjoy the feeling of improved fitness.

Go on, run yourself happy. Check out some running top tips, pull on the shoes and head out of the front door!

 

 


The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves boxercise, yoga, pilates, weight training and long distance running..

Comments

craig t.
30 September 2015

craig t.

Craig, that's very inspiring to hear you say that. Unfortunately, for every good story there's a bad one. I know a man in his early 60s who has to have two knee operations due to (we suspect) his previous love of road running. I think it's a question of luck and genes again.

Stephen W.
27 September 2015

Stephen W.

a bit late to the conversation, but ignore this rubbish about it being bad for your joints. I'm 59 and have been running for the last 40+ yrs and hearing people say it's bad for my joints. No it isn't, I'm still running 5k in 20 mins. Use it or lose it. It's great fun, it makes you smile when someone runs in the other direction and it's slashing down with rain and you acknowledge each other.

Matthew C.
25 September 2015

Matthew C.

I'm not necessarily happy before I go out for every run. Nor during every run. But I definitely am when I finish a run! Is that weird?

Roger B.
24 September 2015

Roger B.

it is a happy picture, isn't it? I'm more of a walker but on a sunny crisp day like today, I know exactly what the article means. I'm out of here!

Emma C.
24 September 2015

Emma C.

Just looking at the happy lady in this pic makes me feel like going for a run!

Mike D.
24 September 2015

Mike D.

Running does make me really happy. It's something about complete freedom and escape. It's such a shame that it's not meant to be good for your joints or I would do it even more. Instead, I limit my runs to short intense 20 minutes ones a couple of times a week, and that's lower-impact trail running.

Joseph M.
23 September 2015

Joseph M.

For me the answer is simple - Yes! Knowing there is science to support the fact that I simply enjoy myself on a run is great too though.

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