Have you ever wondered why you feel so good after a workout? Maybe it boils down to the sense of accomplishment after having sat in a class or work desk all day, or maybe it is because exercise helps activate specific cortexes of the brain.
Running is proven to help you relax in the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain in charge of attention and focus, while the hippocampus works to help with learning and memory. Physical activity not only stimulates these two parts of the brain but prompts the body to release endorphins which help ease anxious feelings.
Not only does running stimulate the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus and release serotonin, but it also blocks pain signals, producing an influx of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that helps regulate social behavior, mood, sleep, and appetite.
Therefore, running, especially outside where you can also receive some eco-therapy, is great for easing anxiety. While it can definitely be hard to get up and run the first couple of days, after a couple the benefits start flowing in. Throughout the day you may feel more energy, less anxiety, and happier due to the release of serotonin.
A run a day does not "scare" the anxiety away for everyone, but it is a great outdoor and indoor activity to get active and working. And if you run socially, it can help lessen anxiety and increase social time on busy weeks.
Try running next time you have a big test coming up or need to sit down a study for a couple of hours. This self-competitive sport is a godsend to any busybody who finds going to the gym too time consuming but wants all of the benefits of working out.