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What Happens in the Brain When We Run

If you’re a runner, it’s likely that you already believe running has a powerful effect on your state of mind.

 

But for Ben Martynoga, a British neuroscientist, he’s spent almost 20 years in labs around the world, trying to better understand the connection between running and the brain on a neurological level and how it can have a positive impact on our state of mind.

 

 

In his years of research, Ben has found that running has a very potent effect on our state of mind and can help with the following:

– Clearing your mind and helping you focus

– Bringing positivity

– Helping you to de-stress

– Sparking creativity

 

Ben describes running as a “moving mindfulness”, a form of meditation that allows us to really connect with our bodies, focus on our breath and reach a mindful state. The running process itself, where our sole focus is thinking about where our foot is going fall or the next turn on our route has been proven to help block out the noise of daily life and find clarity.

 

Recent studies have shown that after a run, people were much better able to control their attention, avoid distractions and switch between tasks. And when comparing the executive functions between runners and non-runners, these functions worked differently when it came to focus and directing attention.

 

Bringing clarity and positivity also helps explain the “runner’s high” many runners experience. Following a run, chemical signals in the brain activate feelings of euphoria. While some may not experience a drug-like high, many may find quieter feelings of happiness and satisfaction after a run.

 

 

Others may find that going for a run helps them with creativity or problem solving. Ben explains that incubation can be really helpful when we’re needing to come up with new ideas. By going for a run, we’re allowing ourselves to zoom out, disengage and let our unconscious mind find the creative solution.

 

Just as we know running is very good for the health of your body – taking your mind for a run can be very beneficial to your body too. Aerobic exercise, such as running, can activate the birth of these new brain cells, which is why after a run you may come back with a new idea or better understand things.

 

Ben reminds us that our brains are just another part of our bodies. And that we can take control of our state of minds by running.

 

Watch Ben explain how running can have a positive impact on our state of mind.

 

 

The powerful effect of running is what has inspired the latest White Noise collection from Saucony. View the White Noise collection.

 

About Ben Martynoga

Ben Martynoga is a British neuroscientist who recently partnered with Saucony to help uncover the fascinating connection between running and the brain, and how it can have a positive impact on our state of mind and help tune out distractions of everyday life.

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