Why Running and Walking Are Good for Mental Health

For those struggling with mental health conditions, searching for solutions can be overwhelming. While everyone is different, doctors and mental health professionals consistently recommend one thing: Exercise. 

Specifically, walking and running are both fantastic for your mental health. Each has an abundance of physical, emotional, and mental benefits that can begin addressing your concerns.

Read below for a summary of the benefits that running and walking can bring to your life. As always, Stan’s Fit For Your Feet is here for you as you embark on this next journey, physically and mentally. 

Exercise, though greatly beneficial, is only part of the solution. As you address whatever mental health concerns may be affecting your well-being, please consult a doctor, mental health counselor, or trusted resources such as the National Alliance of Mental Illness.

Why Walking is Good for Your Mental Health

Even if it’s been a while since you engaged in physical activity…

  1. Walking releases endorphins: Endorphins, the hormones that trigger positive feelings in the brain, are activated during movement.
  2. Walking improves energy: As you exercise, your blood flow increases throughout your body, which boosts your energy.
  3. Walking eases stress: Your muscles relax as you walk, thus easing the physical tension that may contribute to mental tension.
  4. Walking improves sleep: Exercise positively correlates with the quality of deep sleep you get each night, which is restorative for the brain.

It’s important to make well-rounded improvements to your physical health as you work to improve your mental health. As you get more comfortable with your walking routine, it’s beneficial to add in a balanced diet, a consistent amount of sleep, and supplemental exercises in addition to walking.

Please talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about making lifestyle changes. 

Stan’s has dozens of shoes that may fit your style and needs. Check out a few of our best walking shoes, or discover specific brands such as HOKA, New Balance, and Brooks.

Why Running is Good for Your Mental Health

Running has long been lauded as an exercise that excels in improving physical, mental, and emotional health. In addition to the benefits of walking discussed above, discover what running can do for your health here.

  1. Running increases brain power: Cardiovascular exercise helps create new brain cells, which improves your learning, decision making, and higher thinking.
  2. Running triggers the “runner’s high”: A runner’s high is a more intensive experience of the endorphins released by walking. It’s a feeling of euphoria that brings joy followed by calm and reduced anxiety.
  3. Running sparks creativity: Running encourages work in the right side of your brain and releases dopamine in your body, both of which increase creativity.

Beginning a running routine may seem daunting, but many resources exist to help you begin or return to this great form of exercise. Explore resources on the blog of Goodmiles Running Company, part of the Stan’s family of stores, and explore great running shoe options from HOKA, New Balance, and Brooks at Stan’s.

Stan’s is Here to Help

As you begin your movement journey, the team of Certified Fit Specialists at Stan’s Fit For Your Feet is always happy to help pair you with the right footwear. A well-fitting and stylish pair of shoes can go a long way for both your physical and mental comfort, and Stan’s has a great selection for any type of mover!

Stop by our locations in Brookfield, Greenfield, or Glendale to browse and speak with a team member, or shop our selection online at stansfootwear.com.

No matter what mental health struggles you’re combating, know that you are not alone. We encourage you to find the people and resources you need to experience a healthy, happy, and full life.

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