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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > Jun-17 > RUNNING AWAY FROM YOURSELF

RUNNING AWAY FROM YOURSELF

EXERCISE IS A GREAT WAY TO BOOST MOOD AND HELP US COPE WITH DEVASTATING EVENTS LIKE A LOSS , BUT USING IT EXCESSIVELY AFTER A BEREAVEMENT OR RELATIONSHIP BREAK - UP CAN BE DETRIMENTAL TO OUR HEALTH

RUNNING AND MOOD

The benefits of regular exercise for improving mood are widely accepted. Exercise releases feel good brain chemicals that may help to combat depression and, according to the Mayo Clinic, can make a big difference to mood and wellbeing. Researchers claim there is a “compelling” body of evidence around exercise boosting mood. A 2006 review of 11 studies investigating the effects of exercise on mental health found it to be a strong intervention for depression, and the charity Mind recommends regular cardiovascular exercise, such as running, as effective for treating mild to moderate depression.

I’ve always used exercise to help manage stressful life events. In the past 20 years, running has helped me cope with breakups and family stress. I turned to running one again last summer when I suffered a tremendous loss. When my mother died, I decided to sign up for a half-marathon. I believed the focus of a fitness goal would help me deal with my grief. It didn’t entirely work out that way. I enjoyed the training and it certainly boosted my mood, but my energy levels were poor and, on race day, I really struggled, despite completing all the training. I underestimated the amount of physical fatigue that grief can bring. On race day, I simply didn’t have enough fuel in the tank. Not that my performance mattered. There will always be other half-marathons.

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About Women’s Running

Speed up with the June issue of Women’s Running magazine, on sale now! We’ll run you through some classic sessions to build your running pace, and show you 11 smart shortcuts to running better. No problem running fast but can’t make the mileage? We’ve got expert advice on building up your distance. We’ll also show you how to take to the trails with confidence, and how to look after your body so that you steer clear of injury and illness. Plus, we’ve got all the usual must-have kit for road and trail, inspirational stories, race reviews and much more.
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