A Little Run Can Help Depression

I have always been somewhat of a runner, but didn’t get extremely serious about until July of last year. I will probably never be a marathon runner, but I’ve been able to increase my stamina to a point where I can run about four miles comfortably on a treadmill. Outside it’s about two to three miles.

My quest to improve my running resulted in my attempt to quit smoking. So far I’ve been able to lay off the cancer sticks for a little over four months.

One day last week I was having a bad case of the pits. It seemed that everything was going wrong and I had absolutely no energy or desire to do anything. I was moody, tired, and burnt out. I just wanted to go home and sleep.

On my drive home from work, I decided I would take a little run around the lake near my apartment complex (about 5 kilometers length). During this run, I found myself daydreaming and thinking about the things that were bothering me. During the run it all seemed so trivial.

I felt much better after my run. I wasn’t as tired. I was ready to start fresh. For me, a run was a cure for a really bad day.

8 Comments

  1. Run around the lake, breathing fresh air – all this is definitely much better than inhaling the poison. I'm really glad you found such a healthy substitute to cigarettes, and the fact that running helps dealing with a stress, makes it even more powerful.

  2. Ronald,
    Good deal! I'm glad you're trying to quit the cigs. My brother is trying to quit, and it's pretty tough for him. Running is a great way to relieve stress. I used to run a lot, but my bum knee started giving me lots of trouble when I ran. I found an alternative — hiking. If you ever feel like doing something active other than running, try hiking the Rainbow Mt trail off Hughes Rd in Madison. It's a nice moderate 2 mile hike through forested land you probably won't believe is between shopping districts, and as a bonus, it's not as tough on the ol' knees as running. Take care and keep up the good work,

    Nathan

  3. LOL, the post hit my thoughts…I actually just got lured into cigs. At age 30, I found out I actually like smoking one and craved it the next day. For shame on me, but I actually had to go and be around people who would look at me sideways if they saw me smoke a cig. Plus they help me with my mood as well.

  4. Ronald – I love you to death and am very proud of your accomplishments, especially quitting the habit. I know you've been going through a lot lately and hopefully you have a good support system (ie friends, church, etc) out there to keep you on your toes. As far as running goes….I understand the benefits, but I am soooooo not a fan and neither are my old lady knees. Too bad I can't get the Army to agree with my point of view 🙂

  5. I attempted to run around the lake twice today. I of course didn't make it, but it's the attempt that counts. 🙂

    I wouldn't have been able to do it had I not quit smoking.

    As far as the ol' knees thing: I hope I don't run into that problem (no pun intended). Any way to prevent that?

    Thanks for the comments all.

  6. Ronald,
    A few good ways to prevent knee problems:

    1. Don't hike 5 miles down a steep grade with a heavy pack (this is how I caused my problems).

    2. Wear good shoes.

    3. Use good form while jogging (i.e. try to control how much you jar yourself on impact).

    4. Strengthen your legs with some squats a few days per week (you don't "need" to use weights) or walk slowly up some steep hills.

    5. If you feel some pain, try taking some Osteobiflex. It seems to help me (yes, I know that makes me sound old).

    Take care,
    Nathan

  7. Well, I'm not a runner, but I have family members who are. 🙂

    Good shoes are a good place to start. Replacing said shoes before their cushion wears out is also important (I've heard as often as every 6 months, but that might be the shoe manufacturers talking). 🙂

    Yeah, that's all I have on that subject. Best bet to save your knees…take up some other form of exercise that doesn't involve impact. Biking, perhaps? Not that I'm biased or anything… 🙂

    cetroyer

  8. Way to go on the running ronalfy! I'm so proud of you for quitting and choosing to run when you have the urge. I never smoked, but my parents did around all of us so as a result, my lungs don't work as they should. I'm reminded of my brother-in-law in his 40's who has smoked since his teen years. He was not overweight, his wife cooks healthy meals, but he had a coronary episode in February and had to have a quadruple heart bypass. Their father died at 55 from coronary heart disease. The doctor told him his smoking and history of heart disease in the family were the two greatest causes. He has not smoked at all since his heart surgery. It's hard to quit, I saw my mom and dad try many times.

    Thank you for sharing Ronald as you are an inspiration to others to quit or to never try them. Here's your **gold star** 😉

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