Running a marathon. That’s something some people may dread it because they aren’t used to it. But for many others, it’s one of the most exciting and sought-after experiences to indulge in.
There’s no denying the fact that doing physical exercise every day comes with a range of benefits. It unravels tension in your muscles, boosts your cardiovascular health, and keeps you fit and fine.
However, running a marathon—which is also a great physical activity—comes with its own share of benefits. One particular benefit that has always intrigued researchers is the ability of running to elevate the runner’s mood. Let’s get to know the secret here.
Improved executive function and mood regulation
Feeling low? Perhaps hitting the running tracks for a marathon can do you some good (without you being conscious of it). People who did just ten minutes of moderate-intensity running saw that their executive function has improved. Undoubtedly, the effect would be far more significant if you run an hour-long marathon.
When such an improvement takes place, people are able to plan better, pay more attention, remember instructions and juggle multiple tasks. Also, they have seen a considerable improvement in their mood and their ability to regulate emotions.
Running a moderate-intensity marathon can increase blood flow to various parts of the bilateral prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for regulating your mood and controlling your executive functions. Since running is a whole-body exercise, it can be greatly stimulating to the body and brain. The release of vital chemicals, endorphins, and endocannabinoids are greatly responsible for the de-stressing and anti-depressive effects that one can experience after running a marathon.
Widened social circle
Another significant way in which running a marathon can elevate your mood is by widening your social circle. There are so many running enthusiasts out there who run marathons, either for personal pleasure or for promoting a cause. When you participate in marathons, you get a chance to meet these kindred souls and connect with them personally.
The simple act of talking to someone who shares your enthusiasm and passion can be a delightful experience. Having a social circle of like-minded people gives a strong sense of community. When marathons become a regular part of your lifestyle, you will see that you are not experiencing loneliness and low phases as often. This will help you lead your life more happily since you will be less prone to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.