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Your brain benefits from just a 10-minute run

A study says a short run can elicit a positive mood, increase brain function and enhance arousal levels

New research out of the University of Tsukuba in Japan has found that only running for two kilometres still has great health benefits. It seems a 10-minute run will not only make you feel better but can potentially improve your brain health.

During the study, researchers asked participants to go for a short run of 10 minutes on a treadmill at an easy pace, roughly 50 per cent of their maximum effort. After the run, researchers then had the participants take a Stroop Effect Test (SET), which is used to measure reaction times in your brain.

Want to be a faster runner? Train your brain

Results showed there was a spike in endocannabinoids inside your brain, which resulted in an increase in pleasure and arousal. Runners are also found to have an increase in blood flow in brain functions and controlling your mood. This information is valuable to beginners and experienced runners since the activity, itself, is an easily accessible form of exercise requiring minimal gear and time. 

Thinking yourself to faster times.

The researchers compared running with previous studies done on cycling, “Exercise is medicine, and all activities have different effects. It’s similar to how different drugs have different effects on the body. Different types of exercise such as running and cycling are observed to have different effects on the body, mental health and brain activation.”

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It is important to note that you won’t see results in just one 10-minute run. It is also proven that it takes more than a 10-minute run to build fitness and progress in the sport. But, next time you are contemplating getting out for a run, you should keep in mind that all you need is 10 minutes, minimum.