Everyone knows that running is a wonderful exercise for health. But, it can be easy to get discouraged and feel like you have to become a marathon runner to reap the benefits.
Well, a new study conducted by the University of Tsukuba found that running for just ten minutes per day can seriously boost your mental health.
The study aimed to determine the benefits of one single, moderate-intensity running period. Many past studies have proved that exercise improves mood.
However, cycling was the primary activity analyzed.
In addition, past researchers did not examine the effect that running has on the specific brain regions responsible for controlling mood and executive function.
Professor Hideaki Soya hypothesized that, “Given the extent of executive control required in coordinating balance, movement, and propulsion during running, it is logical that there would be increase neuronal activation in the prefrontal cortex and that other functions in this region would benefit from this increase in brain resources.”
The study included twenty-six participants deemed healthy. They each completed a ten-minute run as well as a resting control session in random order.
While the participants ran, the Stroop Color-Word Test was used to assess changes in brain activity.
The study found that running moderately for only ten minutes would enhance mood through arousal and pleasure, positively influence executive function, and activate the areas of your brain responsible for cognition and mood regulation.