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Running – It’s About the Headspace: Mental Health and Exercise

running headspace

Running – It’s About the Headspace

I have been running for around 4 years now. I actually started running by default. I used to walk for around an hour in the early mornings. One day a few months after my broken foot had healed I was walking along minding my own business when next thing I know I am being swooped upon by crows. My natural instinct kicked in and I ran for my life, so this was how I discovered I actually could still run! After this I thought well why don’t I try and run a few houses when out for my walk. Over a long time I increased this running to a street and then a block, increases of 10 minutes, until now I can run without stopping for over an hour or for around 10kms.

Whilst running has been great for weight loss, fitness and my health it’s imperative for my headspace. I like to run on my own in the early mornings in the dark. It gives me time to think, solve problems and have light bulb moments! There are also runs like when the moon is full and low and I am the only person out running towards the moon. The feeling of running in the cold and dark with the world lit by the moon is breath taking I feel so lucky to live in a country where I can do and experience this and it’s free!

It’s also a level of comfort to know if I did get sick or needed surgery my recovery would be much aided by my level of fitness. Incorporating exercise into my everyday life also teaches my children that exercise is part of life, not a chore I have to do but just another normal day task like cleaning my teeth or eating my breakfast.

Running makes me feel alive and it truly gives me the confidence and belief that anything is possible and I can and need to move outside my comfort zone to live life. I honestly don’t believe I would be where I am today or have been able to have launched my business; an admin & support service for older people, without the running facilitating the belief. Friends keep asking why don’t you complete in this marathon or that, I am just not interested in the competition or excelling myself because for me it’s about the headspace and clarity it gives me.

Exercise stimulates the production of a chemical in the brain called endorphins. Endorphins are believed to relieve pain, enhance the immune system, reduce stress and delay the aging process. Exercise is also known to have a positive impact on depression and anxiety and moods such as tension and anger.
As well as endorphins, exercise also releases adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals work together to make you feel good. When endorphins are released they can produce feelings of euphoria and a general state of well being not to mention enhancing your self-esteem and the way you feel about your body image and physical condition. According to studies the endorphin release varies from person to person, some people feel a rush whereas others can jog for half an hour before it kicks in. You can understand then why people get addicted to the feeling of endorphins being released.

For all these reasons I hope to be able to run as long as my body is able to carry me, I just wish it hadn’t of taken me until my 40’s to discover something that helps me physically and mentally. If I go more than 4 days without running it feels wrong, like I have left something behind and the guilt kicks in! Running is not for everyone, but look outside your comfort zone and give something new a go and see if those endorphins can kick in for you at any age!

 

Jennifer Brosnan is the business owner of Leave it with me, a service providing older people and their families with direction, strategy and organisation of their administration, documentation and bill paying. This can be when they are struggling at home to keep on top of things, when a partner has just passed away, going into aged care or just filing in forms to go into hospital.

When Jennifer is not working she is busy with her 3 primary school aged children and loves to run or ride her bike. She is involved in her local community as a committee member on business networking groups, organising street dinners, mum get together’s and other social events.

You can visit her website and blogs at: http://leaveitwithme.com.au

Or join her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/leaveitwithmeadminandsupport

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