Running and mental well-being.
Eight years ago, shortly after the birth of my child, another bout of crippling depression had me by the throat, this time in the form of PND (Post Natal Depression). As I sat with my midwife one afternoon, crying my eyes out and covered in baby sick, I yet again admitted that I was under the influence of the black dog, and would have to start back on the dreaded happy pills. Which of course, under duress, I did. But one thing she did say, which stuck in my memory, was “Have you thought about starting some running?”.
At the time, I could have quite cheerfully slapped her round the face. How in the hell was that going to help? Stupid woman; she might as well have said “Have you tried strapping a month old trout to your face and singing the entire score of “Carmen” smothered in treacle?” for all the help I THOUGHT it would do me. Of course, I was completely wrong, and she was absolutely right. (Wherever you are Adele the midwife; I hold my hands up and apologise for looking at you like you were completely bonkers).
It wasn't until 4 years later that I actually took her advice, but better late than never, I say.
So, my theme this week is running and mental well-being. How many of you out there, either run to keep the old black dog at bay, or simply find that it gives you an all round great feeling? Or both?
It is well known that regular exercise releases feel good endorphins in our brain, and that is why we come home lighter in mood with a bounce in our step. Particularly outdoor exercise has been proven to be especially beneficial.
I was recently reading on Twitter a very interesting article by a guy called Curtis Ashford who runs a company called Memtrax in California about how much outdoor exercise, whether it be walking or running, can help your general mental well-being. A quote I particularly liked was “Wholesome exercise in the free air, under the wide sky, is the best medicine for body and spirit”.
I can honestly say from personal experience, and I'm sure you all can too, that aforementioned quote is absolutely spot on. After all, a good run or walk at any time of day, in any weather, is good for the soul....what's not to love? So the next time you are feeling down in the dumps,
a bit under the weather, tired and fed up, or the dreaded depression has you in it's grasp, try it. Go for a walk, or a run, and I promise it will make you feel just a little bit better.