Does running help improve your mental health? Let's talk about running and mental health.

Stephanieruns Fitness

June 17, 2018 Newsletter

Running with Resiliency

Some runners get into running to assist with their overall mental health. Some runners find that after a hard day or stressful situations they need a run. Today I'd like to talk about running with resiliency. I would like to preface this by being incredible clear. Running will not solve your problems and it does not replace mental health care providers. Running and working our however can be a great tool in your overall mental health plan.

I'm sure you've all heard the benefits of running. It can help improve your mood, help you sleep better, increase your confidence, and the list goes on. When you look at mental health, and physical health holistically running and exercising makes sense. Resiliency put simply looks at how you come back from a tough situation. Without using the word resiliency I think a lot of runners are using running and workout as their way to cope with life's challenges. Running helps you be resilient to whatever life throw at you.

Running alone with your thoughts and being present in the here and now is a great way to add mindfulness into your runs. Other runners love to run with groups to have the social connection.  Some runners run with music. As runners we all know what we need for our run to help us blow off the stress from the day and keep going. We have been using our runs to fill up our resiliency bucket so to speak.

One of the main takeaways I want you to have from today's newsletter is that yes running and working out are great, but you need to have more than just running and working out in your self care tool kit. There will be times when you can't run or workout and if this has been your only coping mechanism you're setting yourself up for a hard time.

Obviously as a personal trainer and running coach I'm a big believer in physical activity so it might come as a surprise that I'm recommending that you do more than just run or workout. I believe we need to look at ourselves holistically. I've said many times before that runners need to do more than just run. You run to add value to your life but running alone isn't your whole life. Don't be so busy training that you put aside everything else in life that you enjoy. Take time for other hobbies, take time for yourself. Look at what other activities you can add into your self care tool kit. Maybe reading, maybe taking your kids to the park, or even a bubble bath. There's no wrong answer. Give yourself the gift of time to do something that's enjoyable to you other than running. You might even find that it makes your training more enjoyable.

Yes use your training and running to become more resilient, but don't make it the only way you know how to be resilient!


Weekly Challenge: Self Care

This week I'm challenging you to make your self care a priority. We can't give ourselves to our friends and family if our bucket is empty. On an airplane you need to put on your own oxygen mask first for a good reason.

Set aside some time this week to do something that fills up your bucket. It can be anything that serves you. It doesn't have to be a workout or run. It could be a bubble bath, reading a book, catching up with friends. The activities are endless.

Sometimes we get so busy and stop doing things for ourselves. I would love to see you set aside time every week for yourself. You'll be a better parent, sibling, friend, co-worker, neighbour, ect. when you set aside time for self care.

I hope you enjoy this challenge!

Let me know how this challenge goes by e-mail or on social media!

Do You Compare Yourself to Other Runners?

As much as I'd love to believe that running makes us superheroes at the end of the day we are all human. Which means it's only natural to compare ourselves to other runners. In a way running and racing sets us up for that comparison. How fast are we? How did we place in our last race. A common question after a race is 'how did you do?' Which sets you up to be compared to other runners. I try to ask runners, 'how did your race/run feel?'

As a coach I view training in cycles. We set a goal, make a plan to reach that goal, train, and achieve our goal. I look at your overall training like a staircase. Each time we set a goal and reach it we go up a stair. We are competing against ourselves and working towards being the best version of ourselves. I think deep down we know this but still compare ourselves to others.

I'm fully aware we won't ever stop comparing ourselves to others but let's be mindful of the language we use when we ask each other how our race or training is going. With that hopefully we can minimize some of the comparisons. Let me know on twitter @srunsfitness what language you want to see more of to help minimize comparisons.

Information on my worry free summer of training is available here. I'm offering coaching for July & August at a great price. Limited spots are available.

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Let's keep the conversation going all week on social media! Let me know what you thought of this newsletter.


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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

Website: Stephanieruns Fitness

Twitter: @srunsfitness

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.