5 Reasons Why Running Is the Best Therapy

5 Reasons Why Running Is the Best Therapy

Running is more than just training and building endurance. It is also one of the best ways of relieving stress, spending quality “me” time, and it is recommended by many doctors as a side therapy in case of depression and anxiety. But even perfectly healthy people can benefit from the joys and the health boost of going for a run periodically. It is one of the simplest and least expensive ways of staying fit and keeping various medical conditions at bay (such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diseases of the muscular system).

 

Various doctors and physical therapists state that free running, either on track or in nature, is one of the best ways to focus and sharpen your mind, and that this is one of the reasons why top entrepreneurs and visionary businesspeople include running in their daily routine.

 

These are just a few of the benefits you can get from taking up running (besides a firm and toned body):

 

  1. You Can Relieve Stress and Negative Thoughts

There are a lot of phrases and sayings which revolve around running away from problems, worries and stress. While ditching and avoiding responsibilities is never recommended, it is good to go out every once in a while to run and sweat out your worries and negative thoughts.

 

Running in a park or on off-road trails is a great distraction from your inner thoughts by captivating your attention with the changing scenery, and encouraging you to focus on beautiful images and positive thoughts.

 

  1. You Can Find Unexpected Inspiration for Great Ideas

As you run, your mental energy is released as it has to focus on keeping your body in the right position, avoiding obstacles in front of you and keeping track of your direction. Thus, you stop churning unproductive thoughts, and your mind can suddenly identify that brilliant idea you have been looking for and stressing yourself over for days.

 

Running brings great clarity of mind even on a physical level: the accelerated blood flow brings more oxygen to your brain, thus making it work faster and better.

 

  1. It Is a Great Way of Socializing in Silence

A lot of people run side by side, saying nothing to each other. Yet you can feel the sense of satisfaction and companionship between them. Running is one of the best ways of bonding with friends and with your significant other.

 

Without any need to compete against each other, or to show off your skills and endurance, you can enjoy a good run knowing that you are not alone, even in an unknown and unexplored environment. At the end of the run, you will sense the increased level of trust and closeness to your running partner.

 

  1. Free Running Puts Your Whole Body to Work

Professional trainers say that you do not run only with your legs, you run even with your eyes and brain. This is perfectly true. As you run, you angle your body to create a sense of aerodynamics, you sync your arm movements with your legs, you teach your lungs to breathe in and out more efficiently, and you scan the road ahead of you and in a split second determine the best route to take.

 

  1. Running Boosts Your Self Confidence

For amateur runners, the first mile is a milestone that seems too hard to attain. They remain mentally blocked in to a place where they see themselves as unable and unfit to cover this distance, and this way of thinking encroaches on everything else – including their professional abilities. As they overcome the first milestone, and then the next, they start demolishing all the mental barriers holding them back from becoming a better person.

 

This shows that running is not just good for the body, it is also good for your mind and for your self-esteem. It is therapeutic in the sense that it opens up ways in which you can become stronger physically and mentally; it helps you find peace within yourself and the sense of accomplishment without stress and self-doubt.

 


Everything You Need to Know about the RICE Method for First Aid in Running Injuries

Running injuries have varying degrees of severity. In many cases, you can help yourself heal by acting quickly after you feel pain and discomfort while you are running. Both doctors and physical therapists agree that knowing what to do in the first moments after you suffer the injury makes all the difference in the treatment and recovery plans.

So, today we will discuss how to apply the first aid correctly, and improve your chances at healing faster and getting back on track as soon as possible. The most efficient method, successfully tested and proven worldwide, is the RICE method.

We will give you a quick walkthrough for this method, and hopefully we can help you minimise the negative impact of any running injury you may sustain in the future. In short, the RICE method is an acronym which stands for:

Rest

This is the first thing you need to do right after you have fallen down or felt a jolt of pain during running. A lot of athletes believe that you can run the pain away, that if you ignore it then it will go away and that the best thing for a sprain is to keep exercising to maintain mobility. These misconceptions are highly damaging to your health.

When you sprain an ankle or pull a muscle too taut, the pain you feel is the outer manifestation of a small tearing in the muscles and ligaments and interior bleeding.

Everything You Need to Know About the RICE MethodThe more you exercise an injured muscle, the worse these tears and bleeding will be. You need to lie down, ask for help, and avoid putting your injured leg down and applying any kind of pressure or weight down on it.

Ice

Ice packs are the first type of remedy you can apply, both for the injury and the pain. Ice numbs the pain, and helps reduce swelling and interior bleeding. Ice applications should be continuous for at least 2-3 days. The ideal schedule for icing a running injury is 10- to 20-minute applications every 5-6 hours. You should not keep the ice pack on for more than 20 minutes, because you may suffer from frostbite.

Attention! Never apply the ice pack directly to the skin. Wrap the ice pack in a towel before you put it on your leg.

Compression

Compression is the next step towards healing. An elastic bandage will keep the injured area properly compressed in order to stop bleeding completely and limit your involuntary movements which prevent the muscle or ligament from healing.

Compression must not be very tight either, or prevent the adequate flow of blood in the area. Your doctor or physical therapist can recommend you the best type of compressive sock or bandage depending on the severity of the injury, and will tell you for how long you have to keep it on.

At this point, if pain is still too close to your intolerance level, you can take ibuprofen or other non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medicines. Aspirin is not recommended, especially for young athletes under 20.

Elevation

One of the major dangers in case of interior bleeding is the formation of blood clots. You can prevent that by keeping your injured leg elevated at all times. Use a pillow or a stool, or anything you can find at home to prop up your leg and encourage good blood flow to and from the injured area.

In the end, please remember that RICE is a first aid method and does not replace seeking a physician’s advice. We encourage you to have any kind of running injury properly diagnosed and treated by your doctor and physical therapist.


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