When Running is MORE than Running: Running for Stress Relief

Running for Stress Relief


Running is my SANITY


I have taken the first step on many of the runs this winter not just for exercise but for relief. Mounting mental stress crests to the level that it turns into physical anticipation for the movement of running. I must move. I must run. I need freedom. When so overwhelmed and with no other outlet, running becomes my hour of escape.

stress relief through running

I have thought of many other reasons that very well could be the cause for my internal drive to run. And each take their turn to keep me stepping forward. However, these last two months, I have turned to running to escape stress. I know for at least that one hour I can forget problems and annoyances and be productive with accomplishments.

Being able to pick my pace, elevation, end time or distance gives me the freedom that stress won’t. To be swept away into another world, where all I need to do is take another step. And spending time with my running friends and hearing of their days helps me put into perspective my stress load.

All of this combined helps to relax my mind and body. I feel renewed and ready to venture forward into the rest of the day.

brain and running

Running to reduce stress is a real strategy says John J. Ratey author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (a MUST read)

“We can literally run ourselves out of that frenzy. Just as the mind can affect the body, the body can affect the mind.” Spark (p. 63). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

Regular aerobic activity calms the body, so that it can handle more stress before the serious response involving heart rate and stress hormones kicks in. It raises the trigger point of the physical reaction. In the brain, the mild stress of exercise fortifies the infrastructure of our nerve cells by activating genes to produce certain proteins that protect the cells against damage and disease.” Spark (p. 71). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

exercise for stress relief

Most likely you are runner who uses the sport in order to relieve stress and refresh yourself. Don’t be afraid to say, “Life is hard and running helps me along the way.”


So lace up those running shoes and hit the road because running can be your stress relief.

MISSION COMPLETE: How to Become a Better Runner in 30 Days Series

runners blog

#30 Mission Complete


I must be honest, 30 days of writing in a row contained some struggles but after completion, just like training and racing, I am a changed person, more experienced and I hope a better writer. It was a positive experience and I feel a sense of accomplishment. I set out a challenge, stuck with it, and had fun along the way.

Minnesota running blog


At first, it was easy to find topics to write about. Oh, course I had to cover female training, sleeping, shoes (part 1 and 2), winter running, gear (including watches), treadmills, training plans, and sitting. But then came the inspirations day by day, like listing my runner’s phone uses, and when to stop or start running. The polar freeze brought topics of training partners, motivation, Minnesota play, and strength training. I love reading so I naturally shared favorite authors and books, as in Fatigue Tolerance, Fast or Slow, Older Runners, Runners Stretch. Topics close to my heart crept into the blog with Run Like a Kid, No Pretty Runners, A Runner’s Will, and Rest Days. My training partners brainstormed and uncovered a few gems like Runners Vacation and Running Friends.

Through all of these posts I shared knowledge and experiences along with links to articles and shopping. I hope this 30 day series is a resource for you and your training partners for many years. An added SEARCH BAR at the bottom of the page will aid you in finding the information you seek. Please share the posts in order to help others find joy in running.

How to be a better runner as a writer

Although my 30 days are up, I am not powering down the computer, since I have plans for weekly blog posts. And I am excited to bring into the discussion guest bloggers whose experience and viewpoint can enlighten us all. I am hoping to find another blog that will give me the chance to share my love for running with their community as a guest blogger. Perhaps these first ventures into select topics can continue to mature into published articles.


Tomorrow when I wake up and don’t need to complete a blog, I will be sad, for I will miss our time together.

I am a learner, wanting to grow and grow. If you have ANY feedback for me as a writer and coach, please contact me. I value your thoughts. Thanks, friends!

LAST POST — This 30-day series is a quest for me as a writer, coach, and runner. I promise to write about running for 30 days in a row. In doing so I intend to gain in knowledge and expression of running and daily life. My hope is that we all grow together.

passionate running bloger