Finding the time to keep fit is the often the number one obstacle to a person being as fit as they would like. There’s always something to get in the way of going for that run, that swim, the long ride of even a game of 5 a side with your work mates. And as life gets more hectic and offers more obstacles, so to the stress levels that you’re likely to experience.
Stress is a big problem in society and depression just as big a problem in sport although not quite as publicised as the former.
The two have had a negative affected on many great careers such as former England Cricketer Marcus Trescothick and notoriously, footballer Paul Gascoigne.
The crazy thing with being constantly busy, or at least convincing yourself that you are, is that its very easy to over look one of the best and yet most simple ways of keeping stress at bay.
How can a person be to be busy for their health? Its often the case that people aren’t, they just don’t understand well enough the impact that doing something as simple as going for a run every other day can do for reducing their stress levels.
It took World Snooker Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan more years than he would have hoped to find a solution to the depression and stress that have partnered him for the majority of his career.
But it seems that O’Sullivan is now converted to a lifetime of de-stressing through running. So much so that he has been quoted as saying that if faced with a choice of not being able to pick up a snooker cue or go for a simple run, it’s the cue that would be ditched.
O’Sullivan has rightly made the headlines in the last week or so for his victory, and is one of 1000’s of people with stress and depression who run every day, citing that the running has made his body and mind fitter, making him much positive about himself and his ability.
Could it do the same for you?
Running releases feel-good brain chemicals such as endorphins.
They have the power to make you feel on top of the world – to put you in your most positive frame of mind possible. And for many who plug into the effect, they can be addictive. Think about a time you’ve been for a long run in the sun, or played that great game on a Sunday morning, that immediate period of time after the event when you feel super positive is likely to be as a result of these endorphins.
It’s very unlikely that you will ever go for a run and not feel that bit better after it. A consequence of running in isolation, away form most of the stuff that is causing the stress and depression in the first place, is that you’ve got time to think – uninterrupted. And its nearly always the case that when your active and on the move, your emotions are much more positive. And it’s feeling that many like O’Sullivan have become addicted to.
You don’t need to be a world famous, no.1 snooker player, footballer or cricketer to suffer from depression or stress. It can often be the cumulative effect of every day stuff getting on top of a person, who is often completely unaware its happening. So it’s important to understand that fitness and things like regular running and bike riding or swimming can be used to keep these things at bay, not just cure.
Vary what you do and you’ll also feel the physical and cardio-vascular benefits of being fit. Most of all, plug into how you feel and what you think when your actually doing it and immediately afterwards. Do that, and fitness will become your number one priority, not an after thought that it can so easily become.
This Article was Published in The Northern Echo in Paul’s Weekly column, “Feel Great For Sport”.
Tips for sports injury recovery and running injuries are all here: www.paulgoughphysio.com/sports-injury