Run For Fun – Can Running Make Us Happier?

Run For Fun – Can Running Make Us Happier?

Scientific paper confirms that running is the ultimate mood-booster!

Does running need to be a serious sporty hobby? Do you have to enter races or work on your PBs? We don’t think so – and the science backs us up!

We’ve always thought that running should be exactly what you want it to be – whether that’s a slow amble around the park to grab some time to yourself, or pushing yourself to place first in a race.

Running is running. And if it makes you happy and adds something positive to your life, that’s the only reason you need.

New science, published May 2021 in Frontiers in Psychology magazine, supports our feelings about running for fun. The “Systematic Review of Psychological and Behavioral Correlates of Recreational Running” explored why so many of us are avid recreational runners – often for years.

This large systematic review of studies included men and women from across Europe and the UK, Australia and the USA. It found that leisure running has an impact on mood, wellbeing, cognitive function, self-efficacy, vitality, life satisfaction, and even perceived health. Results suggest that running can have a positive effect on mood after just one run, and can influence depression, anger, tension and confusion.

7 reasons to run for fun

  • Boost your mood: running has a positive impact on mood, energy, and wellbeing
  • Healthier ageing: running has the power to help your mind and body age better
  • Increase neuroplasticity: running improves neuroplasticity which can ward off depression and low mood
  • Make social connections: running is a fantastic way to make friends and strengthen social bonds
  • Stay motivated: running gives you a reason to get out and maintain healthy habits
  • Agency over your health: being a runner puts control of your health and wellbeing in your hands
  • A sense of purpose: the act of running introduces routine and positivity into your days and weeks


With exercise widely recognised as a panacea for ageing well (both physically and cognitively), running looks to be up there with the most powerful form of physical activity?

We’re not scientists, but our conclusion is that if you love running, keep on doing it regardless of whether you run for fun, PBs, or both. Celebrate the fact that you’ve found a form of exercise you love. We’re cheering you on!


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