Reasons to Run!

Lets have a look at all of my reasons to run!

At the beginning of lockdown I started to run. My gym had moved to online sessions, which were great, but I was looking for a challenge and a friend dumped one unintentionally at my feet in the form of running.

I was not a massive fan of running and but I put my trainers on and headed out, really struggling my way through my 1st ever solo 10km run. Then there was a unofficial ‘competition’ to see who could run the furthest in a week. He won due to a formidable stubborn streak which saw him running 2 10km runs on the final day just to make sure that he beat me! But… that was fine, because what it did was to kick start a love of running in me that I never knew that I had!



Does exercise improve your mental health? Can my GP prescribe exercise as a treatment for depression and anxiety?

For a long time now I have been a massive advocate for exercise as a tool to improve mental health. The benefits of exercise has been recognised by the medical community to be as effective in the treatment of mild to moderate depression and anxiety as medication. So much so that medical professionals in the UK now prescribe exercise as a first line treatment. I had personal experience of this when I was prescribed a gym membership to our local leisure centre as a treatment for post natal depression and anxiety. Isn’t that wonderful!

So what is it about exercise that is so good for our mental health and well-being?

Well here is the science bit! Exercise stimulates various neurotransmitters and hormones in our brain such as endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine which all promote mentally healthy behaviour. In other words when we exercise we get a rush of lovely chemicals which help to balance and stabilise our mood. What’s not to love about that!?

What are the benefits of group exercise?

When we then exercise in groups you get the social aspect of exercise too. So by going to a really good gym, or running in a group you can achieve all of the 3 P’s which you have probably heard me mention, as I talk about all of the time. Positive Actions, Positive Interactions and Positive Thinking. When we have those 3 P’s in our lives we can produce a lovely constant flow of those chemicals in the brain that are hugely beneficial for our mental health. You can have a look at the gym that I go to which is amazing at promoting the 3 P’s by clicking here




And then there is running!

In the last 6 months I have trained for, and ran a solo half marathon! Then got into another challenge which saw me running 10km a day for 7 days, so 70km in a week! The last time, and only time, I had run a half marathon was the Great North Run at the age of 17, an my mother still enjoys reminding me that I couldn’t walk for a week afterwards.

These are achievements that I am incredibly proud of and if you had asked me a year ago if I could have done that I would probably have laughed, especially at 40 years old. And it is exactly that sense of pride accomplishment that has kept me running and striving to do better.


What are the benefits of running on metal health and well-being?

Running gives you the head space that we need to find solutions to problems that we may have. I saw a lovely quote from a friend on Facebook that said, ‘Why do I always feel that I can write a novel after I have been for a run?’

Well, when we go for a run, we are focused on the running. Our focus is on the next step, our breathing, how much further we have to go. We are not distracted by the tv, social media, our smart phones!! It gives our subconscious the downtime to process the events of the day and to figure out what to do with them!

How do I get more downtime for my brain?

Our grandparents or great grandparents had the time to do this. When they did the washing they had to wash the clothes by hand, then sit and put each item through the mangle, before hanging them out to dry. Nowadays we shove our clothes into the washing machine, press a button, go off and do a million other things, out the wet washing in a tumble dryer, press a button, do another million things! No wonder we feel more stressed!!!!!

We also get this downtime when we mediate or use guided relaxation. I use this in my therapy room as part of my hypnotherapy sessions where I use trance as a way of achieving the same effect.

You can access some free hypnotherapy relaxation in my Facebook group to help with this too!

How to start running?

The beauty of running is that you can start anywhere. You don’t have to be Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe or Usain Bolt. All you need is a pair of trainers, and a good sports bra, and the desire to try.

There are wonderful apps out there like Couch to 5k which will help you to get started if you have never run before. And the beauty is that they only person you are competing with is yourself!




Join a running group!

I joined a wonderful Facebook group called Davenport Runners, which has been set up for runners in my local area. They used to do group runs, but unfortunately due to COVID 19 that can’t happen at the moment. But the community is still very much active in the group and people are always on hand to congratulate your achievements and give support when needed. Have a look on Facebook for a local running group in your area, I can almost guarantee that there will be one.

So do you need any more reasons to run?

How about the physical health benefits? Being fitter and healthier? How do they sound?
Running is amazing for your physical health too. Being physically fit and healthy works in conjunction with being mentally fit and healthy, meaning that you can achieve all of the things in life that you want to.

Since lockdown restrictions have eased my gym has opened its doors again and I am loving being back in that environment. But I am still running! Now I just do and enjoy both.

If you would like to find out how Solution Focused Hypnotherapy can help you to achieve your goals click here to contact me

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