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Can Running help alleviate symptoms of PTSD?

Running can help alleviate symptoms of PTSD and may help a patient identify and associate negative thoughts and emotions with positive ones. PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.

In fact, researchers have examined the effects of running on PTSD patients, finding that the activity can induce unwanted physiological responses and helps patients associate negative emotions with positive ones. 

PTSD stats show that about 6% of the US population will develop PTSD at some point in their lives. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and people who have experienced multiple traumas are also more likely to develop the disorder.

And this can, luckily, be alleviated with regular exercise. 

PTSD and Exercise

Exercise can, indeed, help alleviate PTSD symptoms. 

There is a growing body of evidence that physical exercise can help individuals recover from trauma. Physical activity reduces anxiety and stress levels and is known to increase cognitive function. 

It can also improve coordination and focus. It also helps with breathing. The benefits of exercise for PTSD go beyond mental health.

Running helps the body release mood-boosting neurochemicals. It also improves self-efficacy. This is important because it counters the feelings of helplessness associated with PTSD. 

Runners are also more likely to be able to focus better. In addition, running can help people associate negative emotions with positive ones.

Several studies have shown that aerobic exercise can alleviate the symptoms of PTSD. However, these studies use retrospective self-report measures, which can be prone to bias and inaccuracy. 

Also, several of the studies did not report the duration of the traumatic event in the participants. Despite these limitations, aerobic exercise is generally accessible and inexpensive, and it has been proven to improve cognitive functioning.

Deep Breathing

Researchers have shown that running and deep breathing can alleviate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Running and deep breathing stimulate the ANS, causing physiological responses that help PTSD patients associate negative emotions with positive ones. 

Symptoms of PTSD include a hyper-vigilant state, inability to connect with others, and recurring intrusive thoughts. These symptoms can be debilitating.

PTSD is triggered by traumatic events, which can occur over a long period of time or in a single incident. During a stressful event, the body responds by raising its heart rate, blood pressure, muscles, and reflexes. 

Eventually, this response is reversed, and the body returns to a normal state. However, when the stress response continues for too long, the brain is “stuck” and can no longer function normally. 

Recovery from PTSD involves unsticking this response.

People with PTSD may try to avoid unpleasant memories and feelings. However, numbing oneself can only worsen the symptoms of PTSD. 

The body cannot escape the emotions it feels under stress, and avoiding these feelings can also affect their relationships and their quality of life.

How Running Helps

Running can help alleviate PTSD symptoms in several ways. 

For starters, exercise is therapeutic and can help a person sleep better. It can also give a person purpose. It’s important to choose an activity you enjoy and find a way to incorporate it into your daily routine. 

Running can be fun and relaxing, which can help a person relax and have more clarity. Even a short walk can help a person feel refreshed and can help them deal with their trauma.

Many people suffering from PTSD have symptoms that develop a few weeks or months after the trauma. Symptoms can include increased anxiety and depression, and trouble concentrating. 

They can also have changes in their sleeping patterns, aches and pains, and a decreased appetite. It can also cause people to become dependent on alcohol and other substances to cope with the symptoms.

Although it’s best to engage in prolonged activity, even short runs can help. Moreover, running is beneficial because it can release feel-good hormones that relieve traumatic stress. 

An Alternative: Art Therapy

Art therapy is a great way to process traumatic memories and help a person deal with the symptoms of PTSD. 

(11/16/2022) Views: 112 ‚ö°AMP
by Colorado Runner
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