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Tackle Depression with a Runner’s High

Devon Van Onselen

Head Strength And Conditioning Coach - ProSport Fitness Centre

3 min read


When U run in the open, U breathe in fresh air and the change of scenery uplifts U! It doesn’t cost you a thing to run! Besides, when U exercise, UR body releases feel-good endorphins and UR body responds positively to it. Depression among young teens is rising at an alarming rate. This could be due to a flaw in the amygdala – a part of the brain that plays a key role regarding our responses to anxiety and situations that cause stress. It is responsible for the regulation of our reactions and emotional responses.

If you’re struggling with depression, there’s a need to discover activities that will have long-lasting positive effects on UR mind and on UR overall health. Cardiovascular workouts like running or aerobic exercises are just ideal. Cardio workouts offer great benefits for UR body and mind and running is a great cardiovascular workout! It makes the amygdala happy which further helps the feel-good hormones known as endorphins, to flow.

In fact, a ‘runner’s high’ refers to the release of endorphins during exercise. After running, you may experience a relaxed feeling. This may be due to endocannabinoids (similar to cannabis) biochemical substances that are naturally produced by the body.

With exercise, the level of endocannabinoids increases in the bloodstream which reaches the brain and encourages psychoactive effects such as feelings of calmness and decreased anxiety.

Besides bringing about positive mood changes, going for a run for 30 minutes during the morning can also positively impact UR sleep and the functioning of UR mind. A study was conducted among a certain number of adolescents and they were randomly assigned to a control group and a running group. Every morning for a period of three weeks, the running group went running for 30 minutes at moderate intensity.


Cardio workouts offer great benefits for UR body and mind, and running is a great cardiovascular workout!


The before and after three weeks assessments of the psychological functioning and sleep electroencephalographic patterns were assessed for both groups. A sleep log was also maintained by all participants. The result was that compared to the control group, the running group’s sleep improved. The sleep onset latency was reduced and slow-wave sleep boosted. Sleepiness during daytime also reduced and the quality of sleep improved. Concentration and mood improved too.

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Run For Fun!

To add more fun to UR activity, U can get friends to join in or join a running club or group. Doing this can also help U make new friends. UR new friends can inspire U to become more fit and on UR way to feeling better by boosting UR confidence.

If you choose to jog, start off slow and set small yet attainable targets. Start around the block until U feel tired and keep a track of the time. Later, set close landmarks U wish to go to.

If you follow this pattern, U will find new routes and challenges on UR way to becoming fit!