At the moment, I am attempting to balance one of the biggest intellectual challenges I’ve ever faced with a fitness goal that’s pretty challenging in its own right. It might sound crazy training to run a personal best in a half marathon during the final months of writing my dissertation. But I believe strongly in the mind-body connection and am convinced that running helps me stay focused and motivated when I’m sitting at my desk.
While some people use running as a time to think, I love using it as a time not to think. My brain is running in a million different directions of its own these days and training hard helps me shut it off for awhile. I love speed workouts for their meditative qualities — when I’m giving it my all for 800 meters intervals, I can’t think about anything else in the world besides my breathing and the rhythm of my steps (even if I wanted to). Clearing my mind is something I have a hard time doing otherwise, but I can always count on a good run to do just that.
That’s why I love the infographic below. Although the physical benefits of exercise are clear, the mental benefits shouldn’t be underestimated!
Do you believe in the mind-body connection? Do you exercise for the mental benefits too?
P.S. As part of my training, I’ll be running the Rykä-Frauenlauf 10K tomorrow. I won’t be racing, but using it as a base for an 8-mile run and trying to hold a steady pace throughout. Race report to come next week!