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Running Improves Symptoms of Depression

Posted by Ann Alejandro on

Are you familiar with or know somebody who is in a constant feeling of anxiety or much worse, depression? Having days when you are feeling a little bit hopeless? Do you get discouraged by past regrets or dwelling on it more than usual? As you probably know these are symptoms of depression. Many people around the world suffer from this silent disease and are causing havoc to many relationships. Antidepressants are available but they can cause a lot of unpleasant side effects such as nausea, weight gain, erectile dysfunction, fatigue and insomnia for some.

Running as Therapy
For the past few decades, studies and clinical trials have been showing that aerobic exercise like running is proving to be as effective if not better than antidepressants. This is more than what we normally think about exercise benefits that are common for weight loss. In reality, running doesn't guarantee that you will lose weight rather it does more for our brain or our mental health than for anything else in our bodies.


Exercise, in this case, in the form of running, is turning out to be helpful for our mental health which affects the whole body as well. When a person takes an active or intense exercise like running, the chemicals in our brain that transmit messages or commands our brain to “think some good kinds of stuff” increases. This is the reason why running boosts your motivation, focus, and memory. In short, running improves the brain capabilities that help us to be creative intellectually, thus helping us in our decision making for our everyday lives. This is something you cannot get by relying on any other antidepressant drug.

Running and Depression
Here's how running will help you get out of your depression. Running helps our

brain become more resistant to stress over time preventing us from succumbing to depression. When you are feeling low and unmotivated, that means your Serotonin (a neurotransmitter, sometimes called the “Happy Chemical” that is responsible for our happiness and well being) levels are low. This chemical in the brain simply plays a key role in maintaining mood balance which is the problem with having depression. Running, or any other kind of intense exercise has been proving to increase these “Happy Chemical” levels.

Running also makes us more intelligent, it improves our psychological functioning, focus, and can even increase our self-confidence. Even a 30-minute run can already lift the symptoms of depression and improve our mood. And this is regardless of the pace of doing the exercise. The result is just so positive that it keeps showing how running and other intense exercise have an important effect on our mental health and well being.

Big Misconception
Again, if you have been thinking that running is just for weight loss program, I kid you not but it is not the only thing it does. And honestly, I will discourage you from doing this exercise if your only reason for doing it is to lose that extra pounds you have on your belly. Seriously check your diet and make the step in incorporating a more healthy, natural and nutritious food in your meals and work on a healthy lifestyle such as going on time to bed, making sure you have your hours that your body needs.

Running is more than losing weight and we have been believing this idea for ages now. Running and other intense exercises are proving itself as great for our brain or our mental health. Studies have been also showing that it will even help our brains fight decline as we age! Yes, if you are scared of turning really “old” as you get older, be sure you consider running in your routine.

I can go on and on in details on how running or any other intense form of exercise can get you or your loved ones out of a terrible state of depression but this is the simple message for you and them out of this: GET MOVING. NOW.


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