The Psychology of Running Your Brain


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When they nudged the right square, they received nothing. In other words, the mice had to remember which square yielded a reward. The results: the running group scored nearly twice as high on the memory test as the sedentary group.

How to train your brain to push through running pain

To make it even more interesting, the researchers moved the squares closer and closer until they almost touched, making it harder for the mice to distinguish them. The sedentary mice got steadily worse as the squares got closer, but the running mice continued to figure it out. Researchers even tried to fool the mice by switching the squares in front of them. The running mice still nudged the square they'd been nudging to get the treat far more often than the sedentary mice. The mice subsequently made the ultimate sacrifice for science. Brain tissue taken from the critters showed that the running mice had grown brand new grey matter during the experiment.

Tissue from the dentate gyrus--a part of the hippocampus linked to new memory formation--showed an average of 6, new brain cells per every cubic millimeter, totalling hundreds of thousands of new cells. Not coincidentally, the dentate gyrus is one of the few areas of the adult human brain that can grow new brain cells. What this and a growing list of research on the topic is telling us is that running and other forms of exercise can do things for the brain we're not even sure the best of modern pharmacology can do.

I'm loathe to admit it, but the evidence is pushing me to the pavement.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RUNNING A MARATHON (MINDSET) - TIPS ON HOW TO RUN YOUR FIRST MARATHON

My hippocampus can use the boost. I had been a runner from my early to late-twenties.

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Then, last year, at 36, my husband decided he didn't want to be married any more. After moping and crying for three weeks and dropping 15 pounds, I knew there was only one thing that could save me: new sneakers. The first dozen runs were excruciating, but I'd already devised my mantra for those moments when I really wanted to walk: I need the drugs. It worked. I was a runner from junior high until about 3 years ago after back surgery made it wiser to no longer run.


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I'm not sure I would have survived graduate school without being able to get out and run. The emotional and cognitive impact was very beneficial to me. A therapist friend of mine shared similar data as that which you point to here. Now that I can't run, I ride a bike in order to get those same benefits. As a kid, I ran because that was the sport I did. As an adult, I ran and now ride for the benefits.

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I recently saw him talk about research in which they looked for an upper limit to exercise-induced neurogenesis. It turns out that the more exercise the better. In mice it took nearly constant exercise, the human equivalent of an ultramarathon per day, before the effect hit a plateau.

What about swimming or bicycling or going on an eliptical cross-trainer? All those activities give you a great cardio workout without doing a number on your knees and ankles. David DiSalvo is a science and technology writer working at the intersection of cognition and culture.

How to train your brain to push through running pain

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Back Get Help. Back Magazine. The Power of Boundaries Sharing personal information brings people closer together. Subscribe Issue Archive. This is because running a marathon requires incredible physical resistance as well as putting mind over matter.

10 mental strategies to make you a stronger runner

The body has a physical limit and a mental one as well. Understanding how to put mind over matter is quite important in marathons. This psychological training before the race is based on anticipation. During their training, despite not running the total distance of the actual marathon, the runner should practice enough. One way of doing this is with accumulative training.

This is precisely the anchoring pace that the runner follows during the first meters and will help them avoid exhaustion during the last ones. You should avoid these phrases if you want to stay focused in the race. Physical activity helps keep us in good health and prevents all kinds of illnesses. Regular exercise is an excellent way to clear the mind, make smarter decisions, and feel better.

Exercise is probably the 1 recommendation doctors and psychologists could give.


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Psychology is an essential part of youth soccer. The psychology of sports and physical activity is a branch of psychology that studies cognitive behavior while a person engages in sports or another physical activity.


  1. 10 mental strategies to make you a stronger runner.
  2. Can You Train Your Brain for Distance Running?.
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  4. Get moving if you want to spark new brain cell growth.
  5. In this…. It would make sense to think that this applies to mindfulness in sports as well. The more…. Resilience is a very important skill in all sports. Athletes have to deal with the stress of competitions and the pressure of being the best in their respective fields.

    The Psychology of Running Your Brain The Psychology of Running Your Brain
    The Psychology of Running Your Brain The Psychology of Running Your Brain
    The Psychology of Running Your Brain The Psychology of Running Your Brain
    The Psychology of Running Your Brain The Psychology of Running Your Brain
    The Psychology of Running Your Brain The Psychology of Running Your Brain
    The Psychology of Running Your Brain The Psychology of Running Your Brain

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