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Why running can do wonders for your mental health

Participating in Wellington Round the Bays with friends and family is not only beneficial for your physical health, it can also have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing.

The principal charity for the 2021 Round the Bays, the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, considers being active as one of the five most important actions individuals can take to improve their wellbeing in their day to day lives.

Learn more about the Five Ways to Wellbeing.

You don’t need to be a runner to participate, Wellington Round the Bays is for all ages and abilities. Do what you can – whāia te mea ka taea e koe, enjoy what you do – kia pārekareka tāu i whai ai, move your mood – kia pai ake ō piropiro.

Entering one of the courses at the Round the Bays fun run event can be great motivation for individuals to start running, spend time outside, enjoy the sunshine and connect with other likeminded people, which are all proven to have a positive impact on mental health.

If all this hasn’t convinced you to enter yet, don’t forget participants can also choose to represent the Mental Health Foundation, by becoming part of their running team and raising awareness and funds to support their mahi.

Here are some of the benefits that running can have on your mental health and wellbeing:

- Managing stress: Running is a great way to shut the outside world out from your mind and just live in the moment. Running outdoors and being in nature can help you to unwind and give you a refreshed outlook on life.

- Increased productivity: Taking a break from your busy day will help clear your mind and increase your productivity. Going for a short run during a workday will give you the renewed energy to carry on.

- Increased self-esteem: Going for a run is more than likely to boost your confidence! The start might not be easy, but soon you’ll realise how far your body can take you and feel empowered by the freedom it gives you.

- Better mood: Running often makes people good and the endorphins that are released during exercise can help to boost your mood.

- Builds connections: Going for regular runs with your friends is a great way build connections through a shared experience. Having a training partner is also a helpful way to stay motivated in the lead up to the big day!

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