Exercise and be happier!
N.B. This blog is also available in Finnish and you’ll find it here
If you are familiar with the terms Runner’s High and Endorphin Junkie, you may already know what I’m talking about. We all are certainly aware of the fact that the exercise in any form is good for us. It will help us to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, sleep better, increase our energy levels and reduce stress, just to name a few of its health benefits. But have you ever thought about how you feel after your workout? Yes, much happier and more pleased!
Here are a few examples of how exercise affects in your body and thereby in your mind and mood:
Mood Enhancer. This is maybe the most widely known, but once you get moving, your brain releases chemicals, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine for example, which play huge role in your brains and are necessary for feelings of pleasure and happiness. Studies have shown that as we age, we’re constantly losing our stores of these chemicals, which is why we need to continuously seek out experiences that release them. So, even if you don’t feel like doing anything, just going for a 20 minutes walk increases your brain’s chemical production and can make you happier!
Stress Reliever. Another also certainly well-known fact is, exercise helps you to ease all the stressors and sweat out the day’s worries, but it also has long-term effects: when you exercise, you’re actually subjecting yourself to a low-level form of stress by raising your heart rate and triggering a burst of hormonal changes (shortly, a chemical reaction in the brain). When you do this often enough, your body will eventually get better at handling the upcoming life’s stressors, and you’ll feel more calm and happier in general.
Improved Immune System. When you exercise and your blood is pumping, you are also increasing the rate at which antibodies and white blood cells run through the body. Those detect and attack illnesses, which means that you will be less likely sick. Healthy you, happier you!
More energy. When you exercise, you get more energy (again, chemical reaction in your body…) and the blood flow to the brain also increases, which sharpens your awareness and make you more ready to complete correctly your next mission. And more energy equals easier day and greater happiness!
Confidence Booster. You know that feeling, when everything looks terrible on you (which is not actually true!) and you don’t feel good about your body? Well, it can easily lead to have a low self-esteem. The exercise will not only make you feel better in your own skin, it will also make you feel stronger, more independent and confident. Shortly said, there’s nothing like a boost in your self confidence to increase your overall happiness!
So do I have to say more? Go and get your workout done!