This month we did a review of the Effecto app. We did an experiment: we asked three people who reported experiencing high levels of stress and fatigue, to run every day for a month and simultaneously track their mood, anxiety levels, and sleep quality using the Effecto app. The results were intriguing, to say the least!
Why it’s useful to track your mood and other symptoms
Tracking is one of the best ways to understand yourself and your health. Do you ever feel grumpy, tired, irritated, and anxious, but can never figure out why? Emotions and health are extremely complex things. You can never be completely sure of the reason why you’re feeling the way you are. This is where tracking comes to the rescue. Tracking is a great way to understand the reasons behind the fluctuations in your mood and health. It helps you make the right choices for your health and build long-lasting habits that can lead to consistent progress and eventually reach your full potential.
Effecto is the #1 app for tracking your health. It keeps all your health data in one place, gives you customized and personal insights, and gives you all the tools you need to build long-lasting habits that lead to positive change. All your personal data is encrypted, so you have full control of your privacy.
It’s hard to tell sometimes if you’re feeling better or worse than the day, week, or even a month before. That is why we asked 3 new Joggo users to track their mood, anxiety levels, and sleep quality with the Effecto app. They were instructed to do a light jog each day, and track their mood and anxiety levels twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. Our users were also instructed to track their sleep duration and quality every morning after waking up. Here is what we found:
1. Running reduces overall anxiety
As with each factor tracked during the experiment, anxiety was measured on a scale of 1 to 10 twice a day. We found that all our users reported reduced levels of anxiety and stress after the experiment. The most significant reduction was one of the users reporting a 30 percent reduction in anxiety.
Running and anxiety, what the research tells us
Anxiety and stress are states we all experience from time to time, but when it interferes with our daily activities, relationships, and ability to rest we have a real problem on our hands. However, research tells us that running is a great tool to clear away anxiety and feel like yourself again. Stress is a physiological state, called the “fight or flight” reaction. Our body releases stress hormones: our sympathetic nervous system becomes active, our heart rate increases, blood and oxygen rush to our muscles, our pupils dilate, and we get prepared for a fight to the death or a run for our lives. This is a terrible state to be in when you are sitting at your desk at the office or studying for an exam. However, if you start running, all the stress hormones that your body produced are used up for exactly the purpose they were meant for: to move your body. That is why after running people tend to feel a decrease in anxiety, and enter a state of relaxation and peacefulness.
2. Running improves your total sleep duration and quality
Besides tracking the amount of anxiety they felt, each user measured their total sleep duration and quality (on a scale of 1-10) after each night. Every user found that both total sleep time and quality increased during the experiment. Besides that, each user found a decrease in fatigue as a consequence of improved sleep.
Scientific findings about running and energy levels
It’s not just our users reporting that running has helped them sleep better. In fact, there is a ton of scientific literature reporting that running does in fact result in improved quality sleep. It has a lot to do with what we wrote about stress and anxiety. People who experience lots of stress find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep because their body is in a constant state of alertness.
Running can help you reduce stress and enter a calm state, making it easier to fall and stay asleep. Besides that, after running, your body produces hormones that help recover your muscles. These same hormones make you want to relax because in order to recover, you have to stay calm and rest. As a consequence, better sleep makes you feel more energetic and fresh with a reduced level of fatigue the next day.
In conclusion, our team confirmed the fact that running is good for your mental health. With the help of the effecto app we found that jogging decreases your anxiety and stress levels, and leads to longer and better quality sleep, which results in feeling less fatigued and restless during the day.