BRAIN HEALTH | 11.19.2018 | BY SHILO ZELLER, BSc.
“If you don't think you were born to run you're not only denying history. You're denying who you are.” - Christopher McDougall
Humans are the most effective endurance runners out of any mammal on earth. The build of our legs, hips, and feet make us physically built for the task and our ability to sweat to maintain a steady core temperature contributes to our ability to run mile after mile.
Running has been shown to have a number of effects on both our bodies and our brains. Across all ages, running has been shown to significantly increase working memory. Another study showed that adding running to your exercise regime improved participants’ sleep, psychological well-being, and their ability to focus throughout the day. Further to that, a study conducted in 2005 showed that running for only 30 minutes (on either a treadmill or outdoors) is enough to lift the mood of someone showing symptoms of depression.
One more reason to run? Runners have been shown to have a clearer understanding of introreception, which is our ability to recognize and understand what is going on inside our bodies and how we are feeling. Thanks to neuroplasticity, our brain’s ability to change in response to environment and experience, this lesser-known sense helps individuals build resiliency.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you can register for a Turkey Trot run in your area or jump on a treadmill or your favorite walking/running path to do your brain and body a favor!