Running provides two psychological benefits. First is improvement in mood. This short-lived phenomena, also called “runner’s high,” is caused when certain chemicals are released into the bloodstream by physical activity. For me, it inspires feelings of largess, which my kids often exploit. The second benefit is the long-term improvement it makes in self-esteem. But the greatest benefit for me is that running is an incredible source of creativity.
I’m not sure what the biological dynamics of this are (a client with an M.D. says running is a form of meditation), but I do know it has two dramatic results. One is the “Ah-Ha!” factor.
“I can’t tell you the number of times I have been stuck on a design or business problem, and after a nice long run, have returned to find a creative solution staring me in the face,” says Don Weathers, who runs PodHammer.net.
“Running is a way of tapping into the subconscious; it’s like ‘sleeping on it,’ but much more predictable.”