Every runner I know knows this: a runner feels better after a run than before. It may have been hard, challenging, exhausting, cold or hot. Still, something real changes in the mind during a run. Worries, doubts, fears, anxiety and tiredness seem to abate.
While this calming effect can feel mystical, it seems that there’s a scientific explanation. Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times explains it here. Key observation: “exercise also has been found to reduce anxiety in both people and animals.”