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Smart Ways to Run Away from Stress

By Sandy Schroeder

Many therapists are saying exercise may be the way to shed stress, anxiety or depression. If running already works for you, using it to smooth out mental hangups might work too. If walking is more your style, the positive results may be the same.

The MindBodyGreen.com site recently posted some suggestions on getting the most physical and mental lifts from running. See what you think.

Don't over-think runs - Sometimes if we can't do a long run we don't do one at all. A good way to get moving is to do a run with a flexible route that you know you can lengthen or shorten.

Get outside for runs - Just running on a treadmill will help, but a long run through a beautiful park or near the water will probably double the benefits mentally and physically. On days when you are feeling down, pick the most beautiful path and feel the difference.

Run anyway you feel like - Some days are just not made for flat-out high performance running. Give yourself credit for being out there and run at the pace that feels right for the day. Even a slow run will probably boost your spirits.

Find a spot in your schedule for running - More runs are likely to happen if you pick a comfortable spot in your schedule. Early morning runs, after-work runs, or longer weekend runs may feel right. Whatever works for you will increase your chances of running more often.

Run solo or with friends - When you are feeling down, a solo run may be needed to just let go of everything. When you need to vent a little or confide in a friend, a buddy run may work very well.

Keep the fun in your run - If you have always loved running, don't make it a chore now. Remember how it felt when you first started running. Wherever you were, however it worked, may provide cues enjoying runs now.

Using running, walking, or workouts to shed some stress may help to keep your days level and your mood up. Whenever the day has been just a shade too long, I do a walk down to my favorite park. By the time I get back, life seems much more tolerable. Topping that off with a good dinner, I usually sleep much better. Getting rid of a little stress can make a big difference.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Schaumburg, Ill.

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