Regular participation in sport and physical activity has been shown to have significant benefits on both our physical and mental health. We know that getting active can have a positive impact on physical health, but it can really improve your mental health too. It can reduce the risk of depression, act as a mood lifter and improve self-esteem. It can also help to reduce stress and help people think more clearly. In fact, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which provides prescribing guidance for healthcare professionals, actually recommends it as a primary intervention for mild-to-moderate mental health problems. In many ways, mental health is just like physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it.
For many people who take up running, it becomes an activity that they will enjoy throughout their lives. At any age, it’s a chance to take time out from daily routines, have a chat with your running mates and surprise yourself with what you can do!
Read how running improved the mental health of six Runner’s World readers.