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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > Apr-17 > EMOTIONS RUNNING HIGH

EMOTIONS RUNNING HIGH

RUNNING HAS A STRONG INTERPLAY WITH OUR EMOTIONS. IT CAN HELP US MANAGE TRAUMATIC EVENTS OR NEGATIVE FEELINGS WHICH, IN TURN, COULD ACTUALLY IMPROVE OUR RUNNING, TOO.

Most of us know that running can improve our mood and mindset and help us cope with stress.

At some point in our lives, we might use it to help manage our emotions. When stressful or traumatic situations arise, the temptation is often to go out for a run to clear our heads and feel better. It works for many runners. I recently used the focus of training for a half-marathon to cope with the loss of my mother and found that having a training plan to follow was a welcome distraction from grieving. While it’s still important to grieve, running is a convenient and reliable hobby to fall back on when you need to calm your mind and think clearly, and perhaps even overcome a nasty shock. “If something traumatic has happened, going for a run can be a really good opportunity to break things down,” says Philip Clarke, a Lecturer of Psychology at the University of Derby. “A run can be a really good opportunity to make sense of situations in your head. It also means you may run further. If you’re focusing on a situation, it can take away the feeling of perceived exertion. You may find you’re able to perform a little bit better or run a little bit longer because your mind is occupied.” A few studies seem to support the benefits of exercise on managing emotional trauma. Some of the first evidence of the beneficial effects came from a 12-week study in 2015, published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. The study combined a 12-week exercise programme for those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), with the usual care programme for PTSD. Results showed that adding exercise into the treatment resulted in reduced PTSD and depressive symptoms and improved sleep quality.

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About Women’s Running

Coming up in the April issue of Women’s Running… Ramping up your mileage this spring? We’ve got everything you need in the April issue of Women’s Running, out now! Find the best running shoe for you with our first Women’s Running Shoe Guide, featuring 30 models tried and tested. If you’re marathon training, you’ll find part two of our 12-week training plans in this issue, taking you right up to race day. We’ve got an essential stretching routine to ease tired muscles, three gorgeous recipes to boost your health and energy, and tips on how to tackle long runs. Plus, we’ve got all the usual great gear reviews, inspiration and quick training advice.
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