Running is good for mental health! But what makes it so good and how do we get more of that goodness to improve our mental health?
Today, I talk with Gareth Gailey a running coach and England Athletics Mental Health Ambassador. Tapping into his expertise as a running coach working with many clients with mental health challenges, we uncover some of the reasons why running has helped me so much on my healing journey as I putt my life back together in a healthy way after losing my husband to alcoholism.
We chat about mindset, purpose, and opening up, getting it all out in the open, starting those difficult conversations while out on a run.
Here’s a glance at this episode:[7:59] There’s also something about running in that you never have to look anybody in the eye because the person who was chatting away to is next to you, that actually makes it quite easy because you can be quite close to somebody and it’s quite an intimate conversation you can have, but also there’s this natural kind of distancing. So you can be very honest and open. And if you’re running in a group and it gets all a bit too much, you can just accelerate or slow down and lose that person for a little while.
[9:16]When we were running together, I was struggling because I was at the biggest, longest distance that I’d ever done. I, my legs felt like jelly. I had no confidence that I could get back. There’s a couple of things that you said to me, the first thing that you said was when I was walking, you said, walk, purposely walk with purpose.
[10.13]walking with purpose serves two purposes, there’s the physical, but the mental side of it is that you’re still involved in your run. It’s very easy to start stumbling and meandering your way back home. If you walk with purpose, you’re still in the you’re still in the home is still in the race. And then it’s an, and it’s a lot easier step to go back into running. And it keeps the mind involved because it’s very easy to switch off. And then you’re having that battle of, oh, I’ve got to get going. And you’re getting going both mentally, physically, where if you’re walking with purpose and you’re keeping that purpose, then, like I say, it’s just so it’s moving forward.
[13.34]And you realize that we’re looking at their feet. And he’s like, if, if you’re not trying to enjoy this, you’re not going to enjoy it. You know, you, you’ve got to take a simple pleasures.
[16:12]It’s setting your mindset. These both apply to the efficiency, also little bit of efficiency in life, you know, and they do, they do cross over. So from an efficiency point, you need in running, you need good posture. You need a little bit of height because you need to lift your hips. So your legs, we can get all to that technical stuff. But the other side of that is, is again, it’s just basic body language. And sometimes when times are tough and that’s what I was saying, you’re not going to have great amounts of energy. So you need to use it wisely and efficiently. And that’s where actually the good posture and that kind of thing comes in because positive thinking is going to put energy.
[22:05]It’s getting people thinking about themselves a bit more sometimes in different ways because you have a aspect of dealing people with mental health issues is that usually they’re their self esteem’s quite low. So it’s giving them a sense of worth because you, you need people to be self critical to improve if by nature that doesn’t being self-critical doesn’t mean being self destructive.
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