Running Is My Doctor and Psychiatrist all in One

As I sit in my house patiently  not so patiently waiting for the moment when my Dr. says “Anne, go hit the trails and pavement ”  I read and read.  I read posts by others that I know, talking about their runs, I read scientific articles about avoiding injuries and  recovering from injuries.  I read about the latest and greatest running gear and running shoes.  I read about races coming up in 2017.

But what you don’t know is my fear.

I have not run, hiked, or even walked on a treadmill since June of LAST year.  What if I can’t do it any more?  What if  I run a 1/2 mile and feel like my chest is going to explode?  Will my love for running persevere through these difficulties?

I hope my fear of ever having to say: “I used to run” will keep me out there no matter how hard my recovery is.  I will  continue to read and I will post motivational sayings for all of us.

One of the biggest pluses of running is that it acts like an antidepressant.  It’s really amazing how fast it works.

I found this in an article by

No matter how good or bad you feel at any given moment, exercise will make you feel better. And it goes beyond just the “runner’s high”—that rush of feel-good hormones known as endocannabinoids. In a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, researchers found that even a single bout of exercise—30 minutes of walking on a treadmill—could instantly lift the mood of someone suffering from a major depressive order.

(so just think what it would do for those of us that are just grumpy!)

And even on those days when you have to force yourself out the door, exercise still protects you against anxiety and depression.  Moderate exercise may help people cope with anxiety and stress even after they’re done working out. A 2012 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health proved that just 30 minutes of running during the week for three weeks boosted sleep quality, mood, and concentration during the day.


After reading that, how could you NOT get out and walk, run or whatever?  Maybe printing that out and putting it next to my alarm clock might help.

There are SO MANY physical benefits of running that I will share with you five  today and more  in my upcoming posts.   I think you will be surprised at some of them.

Running strengthens your knees (and your other joints and bones, too).
How many times have people told you that it will ruin your knees?  Just the opposite.

Running increases bone mass, and even helps stem age-related bone loss.

Running will keep you sharper, even as you age.

I don’t know about you, but panic sometimes sets in that I might be losing the majority of my brain functions!  But evidence is insurmountable that regular exercise helps defeat age-related mental decline.  Exercise has been shown to help keep the mind sharp.  Running might also reduce symptoms of dementia and protect the brain against Alzheimer’s, even for those with a family history of it.

Studies consistently found that fitter older adults scored better in mental tests than their unfit peers.  So don’t be my unfit peer.

Running can reduce your risk of cancer.
This one surprised me.  It doesn’t cure cancer, but there’s plenty of proof that it helps prevent it.  The Journal of Nutrition showed that regular exercise is associated with a lower risk of certain cancers. And if you already have cancer, running can improve your quality of life while you’re undergoing chemotherapy.

Live longer

Not only do runners have fewer disabilities and remain active longer than those who are sedentary, they actually live longer.  As weekly running decreases with age, the health benefits continue.

Love your heart.

People who run for just an hour a week  (only an hour!) can reduce their risk of heart disease by almost half compared to nonrunners! Running is the king of cardio. Running even five to 10 minutes a day, at slow speeds (My favorite way to run!) is associated with a drastically reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

There you have it.  Five huge reasons for us to run. And one bit of advice for men:

One step at a time,


Happy Birthday Joey.




2 thoughts on “Running Is My Doctor and Psychiatrist all in One

  1. Well, with all that data behind what you said…I am off to walk on the treadmill! I may not be a runner, or do marathons but I will keep moving as long I can…mostly because I just feel better!!
    thanks for the encouragement! Love you….

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