Deep down, somewhere, have you ever felt SAD -- DEPRESSED.
Like - you want to get away from everything
Like - if you could disappear into thin air
Like – your whole body becomes numb
Like – you would wish that this day did not exist
Like – WTF!
Life can be hard, really hard, harsh, bad, ugly, unsatisfactory, unlucky, unpleasant.
You, my friend must understand something. Life is what it is. It can’t be black and white.
Grey is the flavour of life.
Perfect world simply doesn’t exist anywhere except in those ROMCOM movies.
Get that straight.
Now, let’s talk about MENTAL HEALTH and how RUNNING can work as a wonder medicine to have a healthy mind.
- According to the WHO, “More than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression”
- According to NIMH, “Around 16.2 million US adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2016, which is 6.7% of US adult population”
- According to the WHO, “More women are affected by depression than men”
- According to NIMH, “The prevalence of adults with major depressive episode was highest among individuals aged 18-25 (13.1%).”
- According to NIMH, “Approximately 60.1% of adolescents with major depressive episode did not receive treatment.”
Looking at these data you can see clearly that this is a critical problem affecting many people.
If you’re depressed, YOU’RE NOT ALONE!
And, yes there is a WAY OUT to tackle it.
Running is one way you can take depression head on.
RUNNING is not just cardio exercise; it comes with a range of benefits:
- it improves your sleep
- increases your concentration power
- boosts your self-esteem
- decreases cravings for unhealthy foods
- And yes, it helps you in “FIGHTING DEPRESSION”
Yes, you heard me right.
RUNNING helps you have a healthy mind and fight depression.
Before we move forward. I’ve got some quick questions for you, just answer them in your head. No judgement. Don’t over think. it Simply answer them out.
Do you feel sad or empty?
Do you have hard time concentrating or thinking?
Are you always tired?
Is your sleep impaired?
Do you experience any sudden increase or decrease in appetite?
Do you feel low self-esteem?
Do you get angry or do you get too easily upset?
Have you ever felt not good enough or guilty just out of blue?
Are you capable of enjoying things right now?
Is it hard for you to get out of bed in the morning?
Do you have recurring thoughts of death or suicide?
All the above are symptoms of depression. If the answer to most of above questions is “YES”. Then you've got to do something.
Now, RUNNING is one of those activities that can help you fight depression. It will not disappear overnight, but when you start running, you’ll notice some positive changes and less mood swings.
What’s the Science behind it?
When you start running, your body produces endorphins, these hormones act as a stimulant in the body, some people refer this as a “natural high”. And suddenly you feel more active and happier towards life.
But wait, there’s more.
Recent studies have also shown structural changes in the brain and changes in thought pattern of runners. It is more positive. Running also releases serotonin and norepinephrine. People suffering from depression do not have these two chemicals. Their brains don’t produce enough. Running increases their brains production rates of these chemicals. Therefore, help combat depression.
How do you start RUNNING?
I know when you’re in deep sh*t, it’s hard to move.
But seriously, what choice have you got?
It doesn’t matter whether you have chronic depression or have early symptoms of depression. RUNNING helps anyway.
Your brain’s gonna tell you
“Oh my God, can I really do this? I feel CRAZY”
You may feel scared, lazy, intimidating at the BEGINNING. But as you start from one race to the next you start to feel better.
Just one step at a time.
You have to give yourself all in.
Please don’t wait any longer. You have to take a step NOW!
There is no LATER.
“I’ll do it later”. It always lands in never. There’s no perfect time.
Lace up your shoes - here are few quick HACKS to kick your ASS:
- At the beginning have Easy, Achievable targets – This can be something like:
- Just moving out of bed and going for a walk or
- Going for short distance running or
- Combination of walking, jogging and running to make it interesting and easy or
- Have a running partner someone from the family or friend or running community. Have common running goals and hold each other accountable.
- Pick a Race – This is the quickest way to start things. Go out there register yourself for a race. Pick right distance depending on your comfort level. Start practising and training yourself for the race. This will help you focus on running, while you’re preparing for the race, eventually you will get used to it.
- Buying Running Gear – Sometimes, buying running gear like running shoes, cool and comfort tee with nice shorts/lowers can really motivate you. I know it’s weird, but when you invest in something, you’re literally telling our mind that this is important for me and I need to do this. Check out running gear at 6AM Run. They are really cool and are engineered to make your running experience smooth and easy.
- Playlist – Running is meant to have fun, right? So, having your favourite playlist while you’re running can really boost your mood and can help you run more than usual distance. Create your favourite playlists on Spotify or whatever app you use, carefully curate right kind of music and go to your next run with nice pair of headsets. And you will see the difference. You’re definitely going to feel more committed and more engaged in your running activity.
- Keep your Goal Simple – Your goal is not to run miles and miles, but to be motivated. Do not enter the spirit of competition and burn yourselves with fatigue and injuries. Make it simple. You’re running to move your body and have fun. That’s it.
- Give your Body Time to Recover – You went for first run and it went really well. You thoroughly enjoyed it. Perfect. But your body is not used to it. Take it slow. Give your body time to recover. Start with short distance or may be alternative days. Give your muscles and bones time to adapt to the changes. Take short easy steps in the beginning instead of long powerful strides. Make progress towards more challenging challenges slowly and steadily to avoid any injuries.
- Right Fuel – You must be properly hydrated with all required nutrients. Otherwise, you can burnout and damage your body. 6AM Run Marathon provides with the necessary ingredients you need for running. It’s one of the unique products in the market, just meant for running. Give it a try before you starting your running. And you’ll experience the difference.
- Use Running App – Accountability is super important. It will help you monitor your progress and motivate you when you reach your running goals. Download a running app or wear a smart watch to track your running activity. Give yourself nice easy targets and try to reach them. This should be done in the spirit of fun. Keep a progress chart handy with you and whenever you feel lazy for next run. Just have a look at it and I bet it will definitely motivate you to make the next run.
- Make a Schedule – Like everything have a fix schedule for running. Having a fixed schedule and time will help you form a running habit. What we’re trying to do here is, we’re to tell our mind, body, soul that this time is meant for running. So, would you please excuse me – this is my running time and I won’t miss it for anything.
- Good Scenic View – Having good scenic view always help. If you’re running on the beach or in the mountains or in the forest, it is definitely going to create a more positive impact on your mental health. Running around beautiful places will give you a different kind of high. Whenever, you’re too lazy. Just imagine yourself soaked up in the sun with spectacular views with lush green meadows with cold breeze touching your face you gazing at sunrise embracing blue and white sky with bird chirping around you. Would ever miss this for anything? I guess not. so.
Remember you shouldn’t force yourself to run. That would be a totally wrong way to start. Running is supposed to be a fun activity and you shouldn’t force yours to do hours and hours of running. One in four people struggle with mental health at some point in their lives. More than ever now are the most challenging times ahead of us with pandemic and troubled economy.
Take one step a time.
Give yourself opportunity.
Try running today.
Analyse the changes in your mood and attitude.
Things won’t happen overnight.
Give it some time.
And don’t forget to hydrate yourself with 6AM Run.