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iRun because I cannot say no to a second slice of chocolate cakeEmily Shandruk , Vancouver, BC

iRun to stay fit and release those running endorphinsLiliana Plava , Calgary, AB

iRun because I want to qualify for Boston and raise money for charities near and dear to my heartChristine Gracel , Calgary, AB

iRun because it makes me feel good, allows me to spend time with my friends and gives me a feeling of accomplishmentHelen Kolodziejzyk , Calgary, AB

iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw , New Westminister, BC

iRun because I never thought I would be able toGary Morris , Winnipeg, MB

iRun to challenge myself, physically and mentallyKathleen Keenan , Brampton, ON

iRun because people around me inspire mePina Bevilacqua , Caledon, ON

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh , Nottingham, UK

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller , Laval, QC

iRun to be free and enjoy our beautiful countryCheryl Carter , Clearwater , BC

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt , Halifax, NS

iRun because it makes me a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friendNathalie Joncas-Caissie , St-Antoine, NB

iRun because it makes me feel powerfulCarlene Paquette , Carp, ON

iRun because pecan pie, french fries and beer are chasing meTeresa Sterling , Ottawa , ON

iRun because it’s in meMichael Foley , Stittsville, ON

iRun because it reminds me that I am capable of so much more than I have doneJames Sauve , Ottawa, ON

iRun for meKiza Francis , Ottawa,ON

iRun to prove to myself I canLesley McGougan , Brampton, ON

iRun because all the ladies are chasing my sexy runner’s bodyChris Baker , Etobicoke, ON

iRun because I can and I’m gratefulTerry SanCartier , Gatineau, QC

iRun because when I run I feel most aliveMeghan Lynch , Ottawa, ON

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham , Avonmore, ON

iRun because it cleans up my life, because I drink more water, sleep better and eat healthier foodsRobin McIntyre , Ottawa, ON

iRun because of the peace and strength it brings meMichelle Jordan , Ottawa, ON

iRun because I need it to soothe the soul, keep me in shape and for overall wellbeingBeth Neil , Lombardy, ON

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sonsKeith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn’t Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it’s cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brainMarie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every kmSteph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun and run, and run, and run, and nobody can stop me Andrei Lucaciu , Ontario

iRun because the wall is meant to be broken Jonathan Bird , Ontario

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall , Alberta

iRun for the challenge to go faster and farther Steven Matejka , Alberta

iRun to my happy place and some days it’s very Doreen May , Alberta

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston , Alberta

iRun because I can’t dance Mario Javier , Ontario

iRun so I don’t say never ever again Linda Klaric , Manitoba

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur , Quebec

iRun because it gets my husband out there Tricia LaLonde , Alberta

iRun away from the negative and towards the positive Teri Lepard , Alberta

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy , Ontario

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur , British Columbia

iRun for the moment when both feet are off the ground Catherine Anderson , British Columbia

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop , Yukon

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter , Alberta

iRun because otherwise I’m grumpy Alexandre Charest , Quebec

iRun because I get foot rubs afterward Kate Howerton , British Columbia

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang , Alberta

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey , New Brunswick

iRun to get to know myself, my strength and my spirit Lisa Groulx , Ontario

iRun whenever I feel the need to escape Iona Hillis , Ontario

iRun because it’s like flying, only lower Glenn Johnson , Ontario

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan , Alberta

iRun because I’ve lost 80 lbs and running has become fun Cheryl Kelly , Ontario

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour , Ontario

iRun so my daughters know that they can, too Shelley Kirkpatrick , New Brunswick

iRun because it reminds me of how strong I can be Monique Lavoie , Ontario

iRun because it’s a great way to see the world Sherry Mahoney , British Columbia

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin , Manitoba

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith , Manitoba

iRun because it’s fun when it’s done Sue Matte , Ontario

iRun because I am not as clumsy I thought I was Hanna Baer , Quebec

iRun see where my feet will take me todayMegan Dolinskas , New York

iRun for the cool t-shirts! Pina Bevilacqua , Ontario

iRun because I want to be a role model for our six kids Catherine Empey , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston , Nunavut

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan , Ontario

iRun because I want to live to be 100! Colette DeJean , Ontario

iRun for health, i Run for life Pat Cheung , British Columbia

iRun because it gives my day a boost of energy Sara Campbell , Nova Scotia

iRun because it’s better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn’t Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it's better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn't Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sons Keith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn't Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it's cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brain Marie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every km Steph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun for my heart, so it runs for me! Cathy Brzoza , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen , Manitoba

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins , Alberta

iRun for the challenge and to remember to fully live Pascale Synnott , Québec

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby , Saskatchewan

iRun for me! Judi Wearing , Saskatchewan

iRun because it's a great stress release Brooke McKenzie , Yukon

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello , Ontario

iRun because it helps me see things more clearly Jennifer Pitts , Ontario

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher , Alberta

iRun to correct years of sedentary living! Mike Scott , Ontario

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas , Ontario

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent , Québec

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams , Ontario

iRun to maintain a strong physical and mental state Tammy Rainville , Ontario

iRun so that I can live longer and stronger Derek MacPhail , Ontario

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar , Saskatchewan

iRun because I like to be healthy Melanie Oickle , New Brunswick

iRun to eat more, especially sweet potatoe fries Joanna Skomra , Ontario

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor , Saskatchewan

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier , New Brunswick

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon , British Columbia

iRun because I love the sense of accomplishment Amber Moase , Nova Scotia

iRun to challenge my mind, body and soul Sonia Mendes , Ontario

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp , Ontario

CRS

Running Is Good For Your Mental Health

By Alex Flint

Running has been touted as a cure for depression, anxiety, addiction and more.Anyone who surrounds themselves with runners has no doubt heard this, or maybe experienced it themselves. To find out why running has such a profound affect on people’s mental health, we spoke to people on both sides of the story.

Jenna1Bell Let’s Talk Day is here. Today, you can talk, text, tweet and share using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk to help raise awareness and funds for mental health issues, like anxiety and depression. CMHA reports that 1-in-5 Canadians will experience mental illness in their lifetime; and only half of those suffering will seek professional help. The stigma around mental health is the likely reason for that disparity, and it’s exactly what Let’s Talk Day is working to overcome.

In the spirit of talking, I spoke with Jenna Pettinato. She’s a 31-year-old communications professional in Toronto, and has her own experience with anxiety and depression. Jenna describes it as “the worst year of my life,” but her story has a happy ending.

The changes for Jenna began in 2005. She was attending Waterloo University and living away from home for the first time. It was overwhelming, and she started to have crippling panic attacks in class. It led to her putting school on hold, and moving back home so she could seek help and learn more about what she was experiencing.

What causes the sudden appearance of anxiety like this? “It’s hard to say,” says Lauren Berger, RSW, “because there’s no 100% conclusive research.” Lauren is a counsellor at Integrative Health Institute in Toronto, and she helps people better cope with anxiety and depression. “Like an illness,” Lauren continues, “it’s almost latent in the brain, and something can trigger it.” It could be a traumatic event, sudden loss, or a big life change, like going away to school.

Once home, Jenna’s anxiety was so overwhelming she rarely went outside. She gained weight and lost touch with her friends, and then the depression began. At the advice of her family doctor, Jenna began weekly therapy sessions. When Jenna’s doctor told her that she needed to lose weight, or risk long-term health problems, her journey to recovery began. It started with short walks, then mixing 1 minute runs into her walks, and going a little further each week. Jenna just wanted to be happy and healthy, she never intended to become a runner.

Jenna found this solution organically, but it has some precedent. Lauren recommends you “start small – show yourself you can do it,” and the simple act of achieving those goals can be a powerful tool to manage both depression and anxiety. As you become physically stronger, you may start to notice your mental state improving too. “Perhaps a month into it, you’ll notice you can run a bit faster, or a bit farther,” said Lauren. “This can result in you feeling strong and powerful.”

Of course, running wasn’t the only tool for Jenna. Talking about how she’s feeling has been helpful too, though she admits, “I could talk about it more.” Her regular therapy sessions continued, and she felt noticeably better. She continued to walk and run, and signed up for the Toronto Women’s 8km race in 2010. With this goal set, she started to take running more seriously.

Jenna2

Running has several biological benefits, but with some practical tips you can gain even more of an emotional boost from it. She says, “If you can make the commitment to running, even just for 10 minutes a day, it can be a great sense of accomplishment.” That sense of accomplishment can help with depression. She also recommends practicing mindfulness while exercising. “Start taking note of all the things around you. The sunset, the buildings, the trees.” Pay attention to how your body is reacting, too. “Just by running you’ve created great change in yourself,” explains Lauren. “Therefore you can affect change in other areas of your life too.”

There are also many social aspects of the sport that can help those suffering from depression or anxiety. “We regard running and exercise as a very healthy behaviour, so it can have a domino effect,” Lauren said. “Once you go running and get your endorphin high off running, maybe you’ll want to go out with friends and get out more.” Many runners have taken to joining running crews too, including Jenna; she runs with Tribe Fitness. Having a crew can offer motivation, accountability, and helps to surround you with positive people.

Jenna’s a different person now, even though anxiety and depression will always be a factor in her life. She has continued running, and completed her first triathlon and full marathon in 2014. She continues to set new personal bests every year, and has even found a career in the industry, working for Canadian Race Series. She lost 80 pounds, and gained at least that many friends. Jenna’s story is incredible, but it doesn’t have to be rare.

As of 2015, Bell has donated over $73 million to Canadian mental health programs. Today, every text message, wireless and long distance call made by Bell customers, every tweet using #BellLetsTalk, and every Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk Day image from their Facebook Page, will result in a 5 cent donation from Bell, at no cost to you.

Other than participating in Let’s Talk Day, you can help more than you know, by simply being aware of these issues, and being a friend to those in need. If you, or someone you know, need to talk, contact the Canadian Mental Health Hotline at 1-866-531-2600 today.

 

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January 26th, 2016

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6 Responses to “Running Is Good For Your Mental Health”
  1. Steve Leclerc Says:

    Ce qui me motive? Le sentiment de bien-être, de me réaliser, d’oublier tous mes tracas du quotidien le temps que je cours, de profiter pleinement de la vie et la joie d’être en forme et de servir d’exemple à plein de monde, mais surtout aux 5 enfants de notre famille!!!

  2. Steve Leclerc Says:

    Steve Leclerc Says:
    February 12th, 2016 at 6:34 pm
    Ce qui me motive à courir? Le sentiment de bien-être, de me réaliser, d’oublier tous mes tracas du quotidien le temps que je cours, de profiter pleinement de la vie et la joie d’être en forme et de servir d’exemple à plein de monde, mais surtout aux 5 enfants de notre famille!!!

  3. André Lamothe Says:

    Ce qui me motive à courir? …
    C’est de décrocher du travail. C’est de performer dans un sport que beaucoup de gens sont incapable de réaliser, pour des raisons physiques ou mentales.
    C’est d’atteindre ce buzz! Un mélange d’émotions … Se sentir soulevé par la foule, se sentir invincible en doublant d’autres coureurs, cette impression de voler pendant des heures en oubliant mon corps, ma respiration, mes efforts… Sentir l’admiration des gens autour de soi. Quel bonheur!

  4. Gaby Bellerose Says:

    Ce qui me motive à courir? Plus je cours plus j’ai de l’énergie. J’ai fait mon premier marathon pour mes 50 ans! J’ai la chance d’avoir comme partner de longue sortie du dimanche ma fille aînée, comme suivi pendant mes epi sur semaine mon époux à vélo et pour compléter, mes entraînement au gym avec ma fille benjamine! En fait, ce qui me motive, c’est cette synergie qui soude notre cellule familiale.

  5. Isabel Deschênes Says:

    Certainement que la course à pied est excellente pour l’équilibre mental. La course englobe des bienfaits tant pour la santé physique que mentale. Cela m’a été salvateur après le décès de mes parents et à ce jour je profite de ce moment pour réfléchir ( je cours sans musique) et bien souven sans effort des solutions à des problèmes apparaissent comme cela. Également lorsque je fais des courses de longues distance je trouve que cela m’apaise autant que de la méditation. Je travaille dans le domaine de la relation d’aide et la course m’aide bien souvent à faire le vide pour ne pas me laisser envahir par des problèmes.

  6. Mylaine Joyal Says:

    Moi, la course me permets de sortir profiter du plein air, rencontrer de nouveaux amis. Avec les mardi ZONE COURSE à Drummondville, c’est plaisant de voir tous ce beaux monde réunis par la passion de la course. Moment où nous échangeons et profitons du bonheur d’être à l’extérieur et la chance de pouvoir bouger!!! Sortir nos mauvais chakra!!!!!

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