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Positive Mental Health

Running for Positive Mental Health

April 26, 2022

More and more people are discovering the benefits of running, not just for their physical health but also for their mental health.

At ASICS, we’ve always believed in the power of exercise to lift people’s spirits. It’s the reason we were founded more than 70 years ago. And it’s the reason we are called ASICS. It’s an acronym for the Latin ‘Anima Sana in Corpore Sano’ or a Sound Mind in a Sound Body.

We’ve always been a caregiver brand focused on supporting people to move for their physical and mental wellbeing.

Our focus on the mind has never been more relevant.

Stress and anxiety were already at record levels before the recent pandemic.

Now, millions more people are feeling overwhelmed.

And yet, at the same time, more and more people are experiencing the mental benefits that running brings.

Even when vast areas of the planet were in lockdown and social distancing measures were in place all over the world, movement and running, in particular, became central to so many people’s daily lives.

And it had nothing to do with times and medals and everything to do with simply feeling better.

Running is proven to positively impact mental health.

Science proves what we instinctively know; running makes us feel good.

Research has shown that the chemicals released during exercise can have a positive impact on the brain, with both a short-term benefit and the more gradual development of mental resilience.

But there’s also a psychological benefit – running acts as a kind of mindful meditation that positively changes the way we feel.

While, of course, not the solution for everyone, ASICS’ own research shows that running and mental wellbeing are very much linked.

ASICS’ 2021 State of Mind Index, based on responses from 37,000, shows that people who exercise the most have higher State of Mind scores. Active individuals have an average State of Mind score of 68/100, in relation to just 56/100 for those that are inactive.

As well as pinpointing the mental effects of physical activity, ASICS’ research also studied the mental impact of inactivity. We monitored the state of mind of volunteers who agreed to pause their regular exercise routine for just one week.

The results show how essential exercise is to maintain positive mental wellbeing.

Just 15.09 minutes of exercise can make a difference.

Contrary the popular belief, it doesn’t take much exercise to feel the difference.

In fact, our research shows that after just 15 minutes and 9 seconds of exercise, people start to feel a positive uplift.

So, whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned marathon runner, running is proven to have a hugely positive impact on your mental state.