Nutrition, mental health and running

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Stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, negative moods… So many psychological issues that can impact our mental and physical health.

A sporting activity such as running and a general review of our lifestyle can improve self-esteem, health and cognitive abilities.

In this article, we take a look at all the benefits of running and nutrition for optimal mental health!

Why running?

Jogging, jogging or running, whatever the race, its regular and non-excessive practice provides several benefits for both moral and physical health and thus contributes to the prevention of certain diseases.

No need to be an athlete, no need for equipment or a club membership either! Even beginners and healthy sedentary people can take up this sport.

The time factor is not a barrier to practicing this sporting activity. Running 5 to 10 minutes a day is more than enough to improve your well-being and your mood.

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What are the benefits of running on the body?

Running is a sport that is both complete and economical. Practicing it in a moderate way offers several advantages on the body and the various functions of the organism.

Running is good for your health! Like any other physical activity, running helps prevent certain cardiovascular or chronic diseases (diabetes), prolong life expectancy and build endurance.

Cardio training proves to be a good way to improve respiratory and cardiovascular endurance for positive effects on the whole body: reduction of blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, protection of blood vessels, increase respiratory volume, muscle strengthening, etc.

Good to know :

Be careful, do not go into it blindly. Age, lifestyle, medical or surgical history are elements to take into account before starting to practice this type of sport. A health check is highly recommended.

It is also advisable to start running gradually, adapting your pace and alternating with a few minutes of walking to avoid having cramps or muscle strains.

You have to listen to your body! Too much running can have the opposite effect! With age, certain symptoms may appear (abnormal shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations, etc.). If so, see a doctor!

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  • Have good bone health

Fragile bones indicate mineral deficiency. Contrary to popular belief, running is an activity indicated for strengthening the bone structure, increasing bone density and thus preventing osteoporosis.

  • Lose weight and refine your figure

Have a dream body and lose weight? It is possible with a sports activity and a good diet!

Running is the most effective sport for losing weight. It allows you to burn calories and have a sculpted figure without losing muscle.

Good to know :

Complement running with muscle strengthening sessions to avoid tension and adopt a balanced diet.

What about the brain?

  • Natural anti-stress remedy

In general, the continuous practice of physical activity improves our mood. Running is undoubtedly a good way to reduce stress through the secretion of endorphins, a hormone that helps stabilize mood. It also makes it possible to escape the various forms of anxiety related to daily life.

Regular training offers a feeling of serenity which is becoming more and more normal for the runner.

Moderate running causes an increase in the volume of the hippocampus, responsible for memory, emotions, and also for preventing aging.

The practice of this type of sport provides a feeling of joy, well-being, fulfillment and even euphoria after each race. It reduces negative feelings while boosting your energy level, essential to start your day in peace.

  • Increased cognitive abilities

Running has a positive effect on memory and cognition, it stimulates the brain and increases cognitive performance.

Practices to adopt for running

Running may seem very simple, but when you are a beginner, it can sometimes be a little dangerous. Here are the right reflexes to adopt to avoid the risk of injury:

  • Have suitable equipment

Having a good pair of shoes is the sine qua non for running exercise. Make sure your sneakers are comfortable and fit your feet. Buy them in a specialized store and seek the advice of a professional salesperson. Worn or uncomfortable shoes can lead to bone or joint pain. It is also necessary to provide a sports bra to support the chest properly.

The ideal is to maintain a split rhythm. That is to say, to alternate between the different phases of the race (fast and slow) and to set up a program adapted to your physical conditions.

Correlation between good nutrition and good mental health

Running isn’t the only way to improve your mental health. You also need a varied and balanced diet. It is important to eat a variety of foods to provide your body with the nutrients it needs (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc.). Choose foods that meet your body’s daily energy needs and avoid those with high sugar content, fast foods…

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