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Running | Mind-Body Connection

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!

Source: Fix.com

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!


  1. I run in order to NOT think too! It is one of the only ways I can get my brain to just stop for a second. Though that can sometimes start by making me feel bored, it seems to have a really invigorating effect.

    Good luck with the marathon…and the dissertation!

    • It just might work for you! Alternatively, I’ve also tried sitting and meditating, but I’m far too impatient and don’t feel like I’m “accomplishing” anything with it. (But that’s probably a good reason to keep trying, I guess.)

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