The great mood lifter

The discussion rages one: does running really lift your mood? Of course it does. Every runner knows that we always feel better after a few miles than when we left the house.

Leave it to the Germans to design a lab experiment suggesting that running might not be such a great mood lifter after all. ‘Too much running makes an animal a nervous wreck,’ as Gretchen Reynolds summarizes the research.

I’m starting to become suspicious of testing on speedy mice, though. I mean, remember this study? Running makes you smarter, was its conclusion. (In fact, that inspired the title of a chapter in my book: Smart Mice Run Fast.) So some mice become healthier, some smarter, and some nervous wrecks. Which is it?

Spring in Central Park. Perfection.

Thankfully, Reynolds also quotes a recent ‘beguiling experiment’ in Oklahoma with female rats running regularly but moderately. As a result, the Oklahoman rats behaved with ‘robust mental health in stress tests’. Take that, German mice. ‘So whether you run on two legs or four,’ says the author, ‘the message may be: relax.’

Regardless, when this is your daily playground and running terrain, what is there to complain about? So I don’t complain.

Happy running to all. A magnificent weekend is upon us in New York.


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