Exercising and Moving Frequently Throughout the Day Boosts Your Health
Did you know that going for a run improves more than just your cardio health? It’s commonly agreed that running can boost your physical fitness, but it can actually change your mental health as well! According to recent research, just a ten-minute moderate run can boost your mood and help you with executive function. Boosting executive function has numerous benefits as it is the mental skill set that includes memory, flexible thinking, and self-control.
In a recent study published in Nature, investigators assessed 26 young participants who completed 10 minute moderately-intense running sessions. Following their run, both their mood and executive function were measured. Because running requires humans to use their entire bodies, researchers wondered whether running would be more likely than other forms of exercise to affect the brain. Investigators wanted to compare the effects of running sessions to previous research on exercises requiring pedaling. Exercise scientists often compare different forms of exercise to the way different types of drugs affect our bodies. Each type of exercise can have unique effects on the body in the same way different medicines can be used to improve health.
And in this study that was just what researchers proved. Running was already known to have numerous benefits. It can improve heart health, strengthen muscles, build strong bones, and positively affect mental health. But now, participants’ results after a 10 minute moderately-intense running session also showed that running can significantly increase both positive mood and executive function in an extremely short time period.
So, what does this study tell us about everyday life? Running is one of the easiest forms of exercise when it comes to fitting time into your day. In comparison to cycling or other sports, the only gear required for a run is a good pair of shoes. And you can run from anywhere. You don’t have to drive to a court or a gym. Just get up and go!
Could you spare ten minutes on your lunch break? Wake up ten minutes earlier? Could you trade a ten minute activity in your day? Right now in the US, the average person spends over 2 hours on social media cumulatively. Research suggests social media is often a detriment to our mental health and executive function. Instead, why not spare 10 minutes for a brief jog that will do the opposite – boost your mood and strengthen mental capacities.
Making time for a 10 minute moderately intense run is investing in your overall health. It’s great for your heart, your muscles, your bones, and now we know it’s even better for your brain than we thought. Curious to learn more about exercise as medicine? Check out resources below for more information on exercise and health.