I am an avid runner, I LOVE to run. However I know for a lot of students, this just isn’t the case. Going for a run can feel extremely daunting if it is your first time. For motivation, here are some benefits running can give you, even if it’s for just 30 minutes a day; I hope it will be enough to convince you to dust off your trainers and catch the running bug.
1. Improvements in your Mental Health
ENDORPHINS are released which make you HAPPY. This will happen even if you only manage 10 minutes.
Running is a fabulous way to de-stress. Exercise reduces the body’s stress hormones. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by deadlines the first thing I do is run. This allows time to do something productive whilst having a much needed break, something I find very satisfying.
It is estimated by YouGov one in four students at university suffer from a mental illness. Stress and anxiety makes day to day life difficult for many students. Many studies have proven that regular exercise could lower the risk of depression by 16%. Over time running increases self-esteem and confidence. You will feel better about yourself for making the effort to go for a run. Getting out for a run is a small accomplishment you can make every day which will make you feel more prepared to take on bigger tasks.
Running has a social aspect if you choose to join a club or run with friends. Run Wild is a running club that has weekly runs from The University of Manchester Students’ Union every Tuesday at 6pm. It has a range of ability groups so it is easy for anyone to get involved.
If you would like to run in a group but joining a running club seems a little scary Parkrun is another option. Parkrun is a free 5k run every Saturday morning that takes places all over the world at 9am. The South Manchester Parkrun is located at Platt Fields Park. A mixture of abilities and ages take part in the weekly Parkrun. Parkrun is a friendly and encouraging running event and I cannot recommend it enough to new runners.
2. Quick Calorie/ Fat burn
Frequently I hear that people are too busy to exercise or they only have half an hour so why bother. Running for just 15-30 minutes kick starts your metabolism and burns fat. Running for 30 minutes will guarantee you burn 200-500 calories. Not only do you burn fat and calories when running, your body continues to burn fat after exercise. Very effective time management.
3. Sharpens your memory and improves your learning abilities
Running can improve your capacity to learn and retain new information. It boosts levels of BDNF (or brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and the neurotransmitter catecholamine, which are associated with the brains cognitive (and learning) functions. Exactly what students need.
4. Helps aid a Peaceful sleep
Running 30 minutes a day aids a restful night’s sleep. With many students’ sleeping patterns all over the place due to late night library trips, big nights out and noisy housemates, I can imagine the ability to fall into a deep peaceful sleep would be greatly desired.
Additionally, as mentioned above, running can significantly reduce anxiety and can help cope with depression which is often a cause of insomnia.
5. RUNNING IS FREE
On a tight student budget joining a gym or going to gym classes can be too expensive. This often hinders many students getting regular exercise. RUNNING IS FREE.
With longer days and better (ish) weather, summer is the perfect time to get into a regular running routine.
If you want to feel happier and healthier – GET RUNNING!