Running and Mental Health

Jackson Kelley, Staff Writer

Many people dread running, but there are many health benefits to running, such as better focus.  

“I feel better every day,” junior Gabe Peitz said. “I am more focused throughout the day and have more energy.” 

Cross-country Head Coach Marlon Brink said that running is a good outlet for student athletes. 

“It’s a good outlet for our student athletes especially when they’re focused on their academics to get them away from that for a bit,” Brink said. “To get them outside and apart of nature.” 

Peitz said that running in the morning improves the rest of his day. 

“When I run, especially in the morning, the rest of the day I’m just more awake and I just feel better in general,” Peitz said. “I can even feel it on days that I’m off, when I don’t run, I don’t have that same energy.” 

Peitz said that he believes running every day creates a positive habit. 

“I feel like running every day creates a positive habit that expands out onto other aspects of your life,” Peitz said. 

Brink said that along with mental health attributes, running simply helps your body. 

“Physiologically it is good for you,” Brink said, “It’s going to lower your resting heart rate and make you overall more fit so that way you can get through your daily activities without as much wear and tear on your body.”  

Students who are on the cross country team have to manage their time between running and their studies.  

“When you have the patients to run for a while it definitely makes you focus more,” Peitz said. “When I’m done running, I accomplish something, then I’m just ready to study more and can focus better at nights.”  

While there are many positive effects of running, there are some negatives to running as well.  

“I feel like running makes me deal with mental health and be happier,” Peitz said, “If I’m not running, I don’t have as good of coping skills.” 

 When not able to run that can hinder your mental health.  

“The negative that I have for my mental health is that I rely too much on it,” Peitz said. 

Injuries can stunt the mental health of runners.  

“The downside maybe would be if your trying to run at a high level and you get injured,” Brink said. “Sometimes that can be tough to deal with that.”  

Running by yourself is a challenge but running with others is a different challenge.  

“The athletes always comment on how nice it is to get running with athletes and teammates when you’re doing your longer runs,” Brink said. “Compared to the summertime when they’re doing it on their own.”