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Running From Schizophrenia? Coping Through Cardio (3 Miles A Day)

The choice between mental and physical health and detriment in life always surmounts to ideas of simplicity. Whether it be brushing your teeth one day or taking antipsychotic medication the next. Both tasks serve towards a greater good yet for some reason bringing yourself toward accomplishing them can comprise a task of great difficulty.

Conquer Your Mind, Conquer Your Life

This remains true especially for those with mental illness. One day people with mental illness can respond naturally to such tasks as simple as these and the next not so much. Regardless, everyday and action amounts to another challenge. If one can conquer simple routines then instinctively the human mind ventures toward the conquest of even loftier labors.

Not Running is For Peasants

Take for example a daily run or some other form of physical exercise throughout the weekdays. Of course this undertaking does not find itself amongst a majority of the populous. However, those who observe such undertakings find themselves in good company.

The Pleasant Kind of Psycho Path

This article highlights the pleasant kind of psycho path, an appreciation by the Schizoid (Maf, the author) and science of the physical activity of running or aerobic exercise for the neurodivergent.

What is Aerobic Exercise Training?

In short aerobic exercise is any workout that requires oxygen intake. Otherwise known as exercises pertaining to cardiovascular fitness or “cardio.” Examples of aerobic exercise include cycling, running, swimming, etc.

The Schizoid and His Running Routine

Chasing more life, figuratively and literally encompasses the whole of the human experience. One day a person attests to feeling a bit ill and the mind and body automatically kicks into overdrive intending to rid the body of the ailment.

In the chase of life, the literal sense pertains to the use of physical exercise to achieve better cardiorespiratory fitness. In the figurative sense we find the longing for more as a search for improved mental health.

The Hurdle in Your Running Routine

However, when that issue aligns itself with physical fitness, somehow the body fails the mind or perhaps vice versa. Somewhere along the line of pursuing a better well-being comes the crux of the actual pursuit. One finds themselves lost amidst a flurry of shortcuts and charades. The Schizoid found this at the beginning of his path outside of psychosis and schizophrenia.

When the Going is Tough

Once familiar with the frills and thrills of running and aerobic exercise in past days, the Schizoid presumably should have taken to the act quite naturally. Yet as mentioned before the mind failed the body and additionally the body failed the mind. The battle for mental and physical health began.

The Journey to Peak Physical Fitness Begins

In attempting in resuming the endeavor left behind in high school and for a brief month last year a major challenge presented itself. The challenge facing the Schizoid, the duty of gathering up the wherewithal to begin a routine like running 3 miles every weekday.

Run How Long to Build a Routine?

This effort seemed daunting to say the least. The journey started on Tuesday, the day after the 4th of July. Experts suggest that it takes 66 days on average to form a habit. From a personal perspective this sounds quite horrifying.

Get Hype, Your Physical Fitness Depends on it

In order to adjust to this routine one must psych themselves up to get up and go every weekday. Regardless the health benefits were beguiling even when going is tough.


Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

Schizoid’s Reported Health Benefits from Running

So the Schizoid trekked on his path while enduring an apparent remission from his symptoms of schizophrenia. Although the voices were still there, I managed to stay out of the hospital.

Now prior to running, his medical team had attested to deficiencies in his heart or cardiovascular health. For one thing his heart rate hovered exceedingly over the standards for peers his age and his blood pressure was way over normal readings.

The Pressure Builds? Nope it’s Falling

One week into the routine and his nurse had already confirmed the benefits of his trials. His average blood pressure over the months of December 12, 2021 to May 28, 2022 checked in at 127 systolic and 89 diastolic.

Health Benefits of Physical Exercise

On August 8th, 2022, 6 weeks into the routine his blood pressure checked in at 115 systolic and 78 diastolic. Heart rate ranked around 130 earlier in the year prior to the routine. 6 weeks into the routine and it reined in at 93. The health benefits of the psycho path proved real in a schizophrenic’s reality.

Running From the Psych Ward

Aside from physical benefits the running also coincided with an extended duration outside of the hospital. Also the Schizoid attested to a somewhat clearer mind, more control over the voices, and overall improved mental health.

Proof of Recovery

Aside from all of this the proof displayed throughout his work. This site serves as testimony to the ability of the Schizoid in getting more work done. Altogether the treachery and intimidation resulted in positivity for all around healthiness, but not by itself. On the Schizoid’s behalf a lot of effort and ambition remained completely necessary.

Science Behind the Psycho Path

While certainly not everyone ventures to endure such a regimen, the trying few who do obtain the grail of self-confidence in health, mind and physical fitness. Livestrong.com asserts that 50 million people or 15% of the United States’ population participates in some form of running or jogging. These forms of aerobic exercise have been shown to reveal positive effects on both physical health and mental health.

Running Just 5 Minutes a Day Could Make Your Life Longer

As testified before running positively affects physical health, especially heart health. Livestrong.com claims running 5 to 10 minutes a day resulted in reduced risk factors of death in all causes and cardiovascular disease. This proves true for all ages 18-100 according to the National Institutes of Health.

In Truth, Running Improves Both Mental Health and Physical Health

Webmd.com contends that running increases memory capacity and ability to learn. Moreover the action can lessen feelings of loneliness or isolation. It goes on to say that running reduces stress depression and anxiety and even improve sleeping habits. All these benefits must relate to both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

My Leg! (Spongebob Reference, I Hate Spongebob BTW)

Clearly, the benefits of a running routine depict a much more peachy and keen lifestyle. The only setback seems to reside in the 65% of runners enduring some sort of injury as per Yale Medicine and the cultivating of motivation for the actual effort of running.

Enjoying the Run

While some take to running quite naturally, the majority of most participants need some sort of incentive. The variety of these incentives runs across all sorts of rewards. Perhaps the most common starts with the pairing of music and running. Do not forget the bragging rights of improved health through physical activity.

Physical Exercise Paired With Entertainment

Listening to one’s favorite album or playlist during the run increases motivation while compensating for the monotony of a dulling beaten path. Moreover, listening to something new everyday increases anticipation for taking on the task. Some may vie instead for an audiobook. Either way the body endures intense stimulation.

Furthermore, another positive strategy yields as the opportunity to involve little rewards like an ice cream cone or movie. Cultivation of positive relations between running and consistency amount to major benefits in the lifestyle of anyone, especially people with schizophrenia like the Schizoid. As aforementioned, especially the mentally bound.

Will My Brain be Physically Okay After Running? Uhhhh Duh!

Another incentive involved may come as the actual trail undertaken. Immersing oneself into new environments can offer refreshing and exhilarating sentiments. Studies from Hopkins Medicine assert that endorphins emerge in the brain during strenuous physical activity such as running.

You Wanna Get High? Fine, Try For a Runner’s High

The same studies also contest the existence of a supposed “runner’s high”. According to Hopkins, “runner’s high” actually runs quite rare with a majority of subjects purporting to have never have experienced such feelings.

Positives Behind Exercise Physiology

While endorphins alleviate pain in the body Hopkins also confirms the presence and effects of endocannabinoids on the body as the exhibition of a calming and relaxed affect.

People with schizophrenia like the Schizoid stand to gain a lot from a running regiment. It serves as an exercise therapy geared towards the remedying of physical health problems and fighting cognitive deficits. In terms of feelings, the Schizoid believes he is more accomplished and can attest to higher cognitive function. Any physical exercise proves beneficial especially in terms of reduced cardiovascular disease risk factors.


Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

“Hit the Road” Pack!

Before and after the process of running, one needs a few things equipment wise and also nutrient wise. As per New York Times choosing a running shoe depends completely upon comfort level. If the shoe fits and feels good, go with it.

Don’t Run Hungry

Next up, consider the dietary choices for running. When starting out, the best nutrients and portions always stick with one rule of thumb. The portion size should be the size of a fist. Protein packed, healthy snacks serve as the best choice. Perhaps a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Eat about 1 hour before running and within 15 minutes of stopping. Neither serving should be a meal. Instead select servings that serve as a snack.

Now, I’m Thirsty!!!

Hydration also reins as important for a run. New York Times suggests a regular sized water bottle as enough. Also for heavier runs like say longer than an hour in length the Times recommends the consumption of sports drinks.

What Should I Drink?

Sports drinks contain electrolytes which cause the body to sweat and sustain energy levels. Do not consume too much prior to a run. Substituting water as a protection from cramping or heat related illnesses, does not work. Remember this goes for all forms aerobic exercise.s

Don’t Kill Yourself on the Psycho Path

Of course proper hydration makes for proper running etiquette. In fact one finds themselves in a world of trouble without adequate hydration. Regardless, all the tools listed prior assist in the surviving of the psycho path.

Aerobic exercise training is very taxing. Remember to build and compound on the progress of physical exercise. One should not attempt to go all out in the first day maybe increase 5 minutes through every week. The recommended amount of physical exercise therapy totals to about 150 minutes a week.


Photo by Noppadon Manadee on Unsplash

Finishing Off the Psycho Path

Please do not misunderstand the prior heading. Although, all writing on this site remains dedicated to fighting mental illness. 21SCHIZM does not intend to indulge itself in dirty work-(haha) or the pursuit of unsavory endeavors. In all honesty murdering your mental illness, certainly seems like the most pleasant outcome but exercise intervention must be practical.

Be gradual with physical activity. Healthy controls makes for better practice and even better results. For patients with schizophrenia building on physical activity makes mental health and cognitive functioning improve with every breath drawn. Even severe mental illness benefits from aerobic exercise. It may not be a cure all, but it is truly method of caring for.

This is For You, Your Mind and Body, Mental and Physical Health

The meaning of this statement resorts itself to nothing more than the simple completion or conclusion of the Schizoid’s sales pitch to you. He only means to encourage you into getting out and doing something worthwhile.

Be the Champion of Your Own Story! Fight For Mental and Physical Health

Besides the Schizoid’s pitch the benefits of running also receive support from science. Fighting mental illness presents many fronts. Of these fronts, the physical health poses one of the most punishing and difficult burdens. Winning the battle takes courage, effort, and consistency.

Altogether with incentives and equipment involved, the buck for, versus against, drives a pretty hard bargain. The main problem for most arises in the motivation. In realizing and actualizing the goals behind running, one witnesses the process of chasing and achieving dreams.

For once you can be selfish and progressive too. 21SCHIZM hopes you internalize something good from this and finally put an end to that psycho path no matter how many miles it takes.

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