(HEADLINE HEALTH) You know that regular exercise is good for your body.
But new evidence shows that exercise has great brain benefits, too, especially if done with friends.
A recent news report from England says that three-quarters of people who run with other runners experience emotional benefits.
But running is not the only fitness regime that can be enjoyed with friends.
Walking and cycling also offer great physical benefits, as well as social and emotional benefits when done with one or more friends.
Your exercise partner doesn’t even have to be human.
As previously reported by Headline Health, walking with a dog has significant health benefits for the dog owner.
So find yourself at least one two- or four-legged friend, get outdoors, and get moving. Whether you walk, run, or bike, the effort should pay rich physical and emotional benefits.
Below is the story from the UK on the mental health boost you may get from running with friends.
74% of runners say running has improved their mental health
(Miranda Larbi, Metro.co.uk) A year-long survey by England Athletics of over 13,000 people across England has revealed that 74% of runners have experienced an improvement in their mental health and wellbeing from running.
And nearly 90% of those runners say that their happiness has increased as a direct result of running in a group – citing new friendships and motivation as the key reasons. ‘Energy levels and motivation are low when you are struggling with depression.
Exercising and committing to a group can help give you the extra boost to get you going and keep you going,’ says Juliet McGrattan, GP and author of Sorted: The Active Woman’s Guide to Health.
‘At a time when mental health is a such key concern for society, it’s great to formally acknowledge that something as simple as running with others can make such a significant difference to happiness and emotional wellbeing,’ says Matt Birkett, Head of Participation at England Athletics.
Exercise beats stress, depression and anxiety
‘Whether you’re contemplating lacing up in preparation for your first walk-jog or training for a specific event, being around other people who share your goals and motivation can be a powerful influence and the highly accessible RunTogether website means it’s easier than ever to find a local running group.
But it’s not just the running professionals who agree that running can improve wellbeing.
Dr. Laurence Church is a consultant at the Priory Hospital in Surrey, and he says that running can be a crucial part of recovery for some patients. ‘I treat an increasing number of people suffering from stress, depression and anxiety.
Exercise, often running, can be an important component of recovery from mental health problems, and in maintaining well-being,’ he says. READ THE FULL STORY AT metro.co.uk. Also of interest: How Fast You Walk Predicts Heart Disease Risk