Nathan DeWall

Does Running Literally Clear Your Mind?

Blog Post created by Nathan DeWall on Jul 20, 2016

Originally posted on June 10, 2014.


Many people run to enjoy better health, lower stress, and a slight endorphin buzz. But does running also zap our memories?

To find out, researchers traded in their lab coats for workout clothes and put some adult guinea pigs on a serious running schedule. Others guinea pigs were assigned to a couch potato condition. Next, they tested how well the pigs remembered situations that used to terrify them.

What happened? The runners forgot their fears. Faced with the prospect of painful electric shock, the runners fearlessly galloped. The couch potatoes cowered.

This study might change how you respond the next time you hear a runner say, “I run to clear my head.”