Running therapy: lace up to boost mental health

Running affects your mood Do you lace up to feel better? Studies show that aerobic exercise can be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression. Not to mention, with side effects such as improved health and weight management rather than the bloating and sexual dysfunction associated with pharmaceuticals. Running therapy is the…

Running therapy: lace up to boost mental health was originally published on Self Evolve

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Running affects your mood

running therapyDo you lace up to feel better? Studies show that aerobic exercise can be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression. Not to mention, with side effects such as improved health and weight management rather than the bloating and sexual dysfunction associated with pharmaceuticals. Running therapy is the first-line treatment for depression in Australia, the UK, and the Netherlands. The US is a little slower on updating their guidelines. How does moving the body change the mind? It’s actually more than just endorphins. The emerging view of running’s ability to improve mental health also takes into account long-term structural changes in the brain as well as subjective states like mood and cognition. Science continues working to explain the theory behind what we runners already know from practice.

Running changes how you think

In any one year, about 10 percent of the US population would meet the diagnostic criteria for depression, and about 20 percent for anxiety. The incidence of these conditions in runners is likely similar. A 2017 review of research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found no difference in depressive symptoms between what researchers called “high-performance athletes” and non-athletes. All levels of runners are affected. But running helps you think and process things differently. It helps you think objectively. For me, it helps me realize that things I think are a huge deal aren’t in the scheme of things. When you focus on accomplishing a task like a 4 mile run, it kicks off a positive feedback loop that continues throughout the run and takes our thinking and emotions out of the trench of negativity.

Running therapy for everyone

You don’t have to be an ultra-marathoner to get the benefits of running. But research does show an added benefit to those who regularly run and/or exercise. The mood improvement and energy boost is higher for those who normally workout. This is because runners can hold a good pace for a long time without going anaerobic, allowing for the physiological processes that lead to improved mood, according to Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Ph. D., a professor at Iowa State University who is a leading figure in the field of exercise physiology. “If you’re a regular runner, you have the cardiorespiratory fitness to sustain an exercise intensity that’s associated with a feel-better effect.” Anyone can become a regular runner by simply adding in running or cardio workouts three times a week.

Do you run? Does it help you feel better?

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Running therapy: lace up to boost mental health was originally published on Self Evolve

Nike – House of Go pop up

Just do it When my awesome friend Katie D. messaged me about this House of Go Pop-up in Chicago where we could go try on new running shoes and take amazing pictures, I jumped all over it. This was the first Nike pop-up that I’ve gone to and I had so much fun! House of…

Nike – House of Go pop up was originally published on Self Evolve

Just do it

When my awesome friend Katie D. messaged me about this House of Go Pop-up in Chicago where we could go try on new running shoes and take amazing pictures, I jumped all over it. This was the first Nike pop-up that I’ve gone to and I had so much fun!

House of Go

We got to try on the latest and greatest Epic React running shoe. These running shoes were super light-weight and cushion-y. I love how they look and feel, but I don’t know for sure since I only ran for about a minute in them at a moderate pace. I wouldn’t mind trying them on again and running a few miles instead of just a minute.

Epic React shoes

These Epic React shoes stole the show. Their claim-to-fame is they are springy, bouncy and foamy. All while being light-weight. If you like cushion, you will love these shoes. They’re also durable, supposedly lasting well over 500 miles of running. 

The real reason we went

Instagram is going to be lit up! We went to take some great photos and even got a video of us running in these shoes. Check out some of the photos and click on my Instagram to see the video. We had such a great time and I’m looking forward to the next Nike pop-up!

  house of gohouse of gohouse of gohouse of go

Have you tried the Epic React shoes?

 

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Nike – House of Go pop up was originally published on Self Evolve

Top 5 Benefits of Running plus tips for beginners!

Are you a runner? Running is one of those things where you either love it or hate it. Some people tolerate it just to get their cardio in, but for the most part I can split my friends and family up into one of two categories: runners vs. non-runners. I consider myself a runner (many…

Top 5 Benefits of Running plus tips for beginners! was originally published on Self Evolve

Are you a runner?

Running is one of those things where you either love it or hate it. Some people tolerate it just to get their cardio in, but for the most part I can split my friends and family up into one of two categories: runners vs. non-runners. I consider myself a runner (many people tell me I look like a runner too) so needless to say I tend to find myself hanging around more runners than non-runners. But I have nothing against non-runners, I used to be a non-runner myself and can completely understand. Today I’m going to go over the top 5 benefits of running and throw in some tips for beginner runners.

Top 5 benefits of running

  1. Improves cardiovascular health. There’s a reason we call it cardio. Not only are you improving your fitness, you’re also improving your heart, veins, arteries, and blood. As your cardio health improves, your overall health increases. Blood is the main life source that carries everything your organs need.
  2. Improves your mood. There is a thing such as a runner’s high, and it’s real. This runner’s high is thanks to the rush of feel-good hormones called endocannabinoids. No matter what mood you begin with, after running it’s hard to not feel better. This study showed that even walking for 30 minutes lifts the mood of patients suffering from major depressive disorder.
  3. Strengthens your core and joints. You don’t only use your legs when running, you also use your core. Thanks to this, your core will be strengthened by running. Additionally, many studies (1, 2) show that running improves your bone and joint health, especially in youth. 
  4. Burns calories. Cardio is a great way to burn calories and help aid in your weight loss goals. Whenever I feel extra-sluggish, I go for a quick 2 to 3 mile run to burn those extra holiday calories. It may be easier to just avoid the cookies, but I have terrible habits during the holiday season.
  5. Boosts energy. Whether you’re healthy or not, running can help anyone have more energy. Studies show that even if you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, exercise can help improve energy levels.

For more benefits of running, check out this article here. While most of these benefits are true, I would recommend doing more than just running for leg workouts. Running is good for your legs, but it doesn’t work all your leg muscles. Strength training is a must for all runners.

Tips for beginners

  • Plan ahead: plan your runs strategically to avoid burnout.top 5 running benefits
  • Run with a group: running with friends keeps you accountable.
  • Get the right gear: running in the right shoes and using a good run tracker helps immensely.
  • Pick up the pace: start out slow but gradually pick up the pace utilizing different warm ups.
  • Cross train: don’t just run! Be sure to include strength training and other forms of cardio.
  • Rest up: be sure to not over-train! Rest and recovery are needed when working out regularly.
  • Fuel properly: eat healthy and smart. Runners need a health diet high in good protein, fat and fiber.

Why do you run? What are your top 5 benefits of running?

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Top 5 Benefits of Running plus tips for beginners! was originally published on Self Evolve

Layer up: What to wear for your winter run

 Are you crazy?! This is the typical response I get when I tell people I went for a run outside, in the dead of winter in Chicago. Lately, the temperatures have been well below zero and running outside has been kept to a minimum (treadmill, anyone?). But for some of us, there’s nothing better than…

Layer up: What to wear for your winter run was originally published on Self Evolve

 Are you crazy?!

This is the typical response I get when I tell people I went for a run outside, in the dead of winter in Chicago. Lately, the temperatures have been well below zero and running outside has been kept to a minimum (treadmill, anyone?). But for some of us, there’s nothing better than a nice run outside. And if you’re crazy like me, you’ll need to know how to layer up for your next winter run.

Baby it’s cold outside

winter runKeep in mind that once you’re moving, your body heats up fast. Don’t overdress when you think it feels cold. The opposite is true as well: once you stop moving you’ll cool down quickly. Be sure to plan ahead to get out of your workout clothes as soon as you can after your run. Dressing in layers is key for winter running. They will keep you warm at the start, then you can shed some as you warm up. See below for a chart on how to dress according to the temperature outside.

50–59 degrees: short sleeve tech shirt and shorts (feels like 6079 degrees)

40–49 degrees: long sleeve tech shirt, shorts or tights, gloves (optional), headband to cover ears (optional) (feels like 5069 degrees)

30–39 degrees: long sleeve tech shirt, shorts or tights, gloves, and headband to cover ears (feels like 4059 degrees)

20–29 degrees: two shirts layered—a long sleeve tech shirt and a short sleeve tech shirt or, long sleeve shirt and jacket—tights, gloves, and headband or hat to cover ears (feels like 3049 degrees)

10–19 degrees: two shirts layered, tights, gloves or mittens, headband or hat, and windbreaker jacket/pants (feels like 2039 degrees)

0–9 degrees: two shirts layered, tights, windbreaker jacket/pants, mittens, headband or hat, ski mask to cover face (feels like 1029 degrees)

Once we get below zero like in Chicago, be sure to pay attention to your local weather information and warnings. Use your best judgment to determine whether you should run outside or hit the gym instead. Also, beware of ice and be sure that you’re visible if running in the dark!

How do you dress for your winter run?

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Layer up: What to wear for your winter run was originally published on Self Evolve

Chicago Marathon 2017: shoes

What started out as a light at the end of the tunnel I was in has turned into the brightest star in the sky for me. This past Sunday October 8th I ran 26.2 miles for the first time in my life. And not just for myself, but to bring clean water to those who…

Chicago Marathon 2017: shoes was originally published on Self Evolve

What started out as a light at the end of the tunnel I was in has turned into the brightest star in the sky for me. This past Sunday October 8th I ran 26.2 miles for the first time in my life. And not just for myself, but to bring clean water to those who…

Chicago Marathon 2017: shoes was originally published on Self Evolve

The Importance of Fit

All runners should know the importance of a proper shoe fitting. Unfortunately, beginning and seasoned runners alike make many common mistakes when picking out new running shoes. Some runners just pick a shoe based on brand or how it looks. They think if they look cool enough they’ll run better (illusion). Giving into peer pressure…

The Importance of Fit was originally published on Self Evolve

All runners should know the importance of a proper shoe fitting. Unfortunately, beginning and seasoned runners alike make many common mistakes when picking out new running shoes. Some runners just pick a shoe based on brand or how it looks. They think if they look cool enough they’ll run better. Giving into peer pressure or…

The Importance of Fit was originally published on Self Evolve