For many people running is a great way to control their weight or ensure their heartbeat is consistent and strong. However, an increasing number of runners are getting away by themselves to the peace and solitude of a mountain trail, or to the quiet of a country lane for another reason. That reward is more than the calorie-burn or a steady heartbeat. In the quiet of a meditative run, they become more one with nature and their creative thinking and problem-solving abilities improve. How does the brain deliver sudden and powerful thoughts about vexing problems that so often surprises people? On those solitary runs, there is no doubt something beyond normal happens to your brain.
You might not know this, but of all organs the brain is most dependent on blood supply. It is pretty simple, exercise increases the efficiency of blood flow, which increases the effectiveness of the brain. And running is such a great exercise for overall circulation, it’s little wonder studies back up the positive effects it has on the brain.
For example, a Cambridge University study showed that running sparks neurogenesis: the growth of new brain cells.1 So if you’re tired of telling people you’re running to lose a few pounds, tell them you’re running “to grow a few new brain cells.”
Running as Meditation
Mindfulness is a meditative state of being in the moment. As you connect with your body, get your breathing into a consistent pattern, feel the repetition of your footfall and take in the beauty of your surroundings, you enter a meditative state. It’s been referred to as “moving mindfulness.”
Add to that the fact that running curbs the creation of cortisol, a stress hormone. This combination of meditation, where your mind is engaged but relaxed, and a positive chemical state is very therapeutic. You reach a mental state of clarity where you’re no longer worried or anxious. And in that surreal calm your mind can deliver astounding thoughts.
The Runner’s High
Runners can reach that meditative state on a normal run, but when you push yourself hard and begin to fatigue your body, endorphins can kick in. Endorphins are like opiates and account for the runner’s high (and are why this experience is so enjoyable).
Not all runners feel the drug-like runner’s high, but almost any runner can experience the tranquil feelings of happiness and contentment that a quiet run brings. If you prefer running with others, lace them up every once and awhile and give seclusion a try. You too might be surprised what moving mindfulness does for you.
Novo Renew was designed so you can enjoy the meditative state of a good run, or the euphoric exhilaration of the runner’s high. And then, when it’s over, to help you recover naturally and get ready to do it all over again.
Run joyfully. Recover naturally with Novo Renew.