We all know the physical benefits of running but did you know running can also improve mental health and wellbeing?

England Athletics surveyed 13,200 people and found that 74% of runners felt running was good for their mental wellbeing.

In another survey 89% of all runners said they had increased happiness as a direct result of running with others or in a group.

In our latest Guest Blog Kafilla Munir, Community Development Worker at mental health charity Birmingham Mind shares how her sessions are helping women in the city.

“I first became interested in running following the birth of my daughter after I had experienced low-mood and anxiety. I found that running helped me boost my mood and enabled me to reduce my feelings of anxiety.

It is evident that running has been beneficial in promoting positive mental health for women as it enables them to meet similar individuals who often feel isolated and alone.

It was then I decided to join the Run Birmingham team as a volunteer run leader to increase the physical health of individuals affected by mental health problems.

At present I facilitate two running sessions with Run Birmingham at Farm Park in Sparkbrook Mondays at 9.15am and Tuesdays at 10am at the Asian Resource Center in Lozells. The sessions are attended by women from diverse backgrounds often with no previous experience of running.

The sessions are often a good opportunity for women to sit and talk after. Above all it has encouraged the women to eat healthier and become active to live a better quality of life.

About Birmingham Mind

The Birmingham Mind Community Development Team work with communities across Birmingham to promote discussions around mental health and wellbeing through training, workshops and activity sessions. Their work focuses on community groups to increase knowledge of mental health and wellbeing to encourage greater self-awareness and self-management. More information can be found at //birminghammind.org/