#OneMinuteMan: When your date ditches should go for a run (according to Science)

October 10, 2016

This may or may not have happened to a member of the WOLACO Team recently.

S/he cancels on you...

It’s 3 PM, 4 hours before date night. Let’s call it date number 2 or 3.

Which is to say, you’re pretty sure she’s into the kid, but it’s also way too early to tell. Lots of doubt, question marks about where this whole thing’s actually going.

So you text her at 3 PM to make sure you’re on for tonight. Then, you wait.

Half an hour passes without an answer. Then an hour. Not a big deal, she’s working.

2 hours pass. She should be done with work soon. 3 hours go by when, finally, she texts you back. All you see is “SOO….” in the text preview on your phone. Your heart sinks into your stomach.


Next play mentality

Head up, guy. This isn't a time to mope or mull over the nuances of your brief text message exchange, or to sit at home, on your couch, eating crappy food while watching the Amanda Knox documentary, before crawling into bed, just feeling disgusting, etc.


Go for a run, go for a run, go for a run

Just got dusted by a girl? Go for a run. Feeling stuck at work? Go for a run. Facing an existential crisis/ moral hangover? About to make a life-changing decision? Go for a run. Go for a run.

It’s a fact. People make better, more clear-eyed decisions during and following a run. They also just feel better.


Okay. But why is that?

There’s a strong link between aerobic exercise and neurogenesis. This has been widely documented, and it’s pretty fascinating.

But the really fascinating thing here is where neurogenesis occurs, where these new brain cells pop up.

While most of the brain cells populate the hippocampus (the region of the brain associated with learning and memory), much of the increased blood flow occurs in the frontal lobe.

The area of the brain associated with clear-thinking--focus, attention to detail, time management, and keeping your emotions in check.


You gonna cry?

Scientists at Harvard wanted to know more about the emotional impact of running. So they did this study.  They divided 80 participants into 2 groups: Those who jogged for 30 minutes and those who stretched.

Then, they gathered all the participants around the tube to watch the final scene from The Champ. (Hold off on watching until after your run. Total tear-jerker).


The findings

Generally speaking, those who only stretched cried. Those who ran cried less and by a meaningful degree.


But don’t just take our word for it

  • Monte Davis, a famous author and runner, says, “It’s hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time.”

  • Filmmaker Casey Neistat told Runner’s World, “I decided to start a company on a run. Every major decision I’ve made in the last eight years has been prefaced by a run.”

  • Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run, writes “If you don’t have answers to your problems after a 4-hour run, you ain’t getting them.”

The point of all this

Running gives you thick skin. It also makes you more clear-headed and generally more productive than you would be otherwise, especially in a time of distress.

And especially if otherwise means excessive snacking and sitting on the couch all night wondering, sullenly, why she canceled and why she won’t text you back. No need for that.

And when you do run tonight, grab your WOLAs and listen to this


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