How Working Out Can Increase Your Happiness
We are all of course aware of the physical benefits that exercise provides us with. It tones up your limbs, strengthens your core, aids in keeping your heart strong, and can add years onto your life. But what about the benefits of exercise on how you feel, your brain development and overall health?
It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you enjoy, whether it be an intense HIIT session, Pilates or a nice long walk, all types will aid so positively in helping to improve your overall happiness, mood and brain health! This is why people keep going back for more.
Have a look at how exercise can significantly help in several parts of your life other than just losing weight and toning up.
Have you ever just had no motivation to exercise after a long day at work or because it is so chilly on a cold winters morning? But, coerced yourself and got up and got it done, which resulted in you feeling pretty great? That feeling is the amazing feel-good chemicals that are so often referred to in association with exercising – endorphins – working hard, doing what they do best to make you feel great!
These amazing chemicals provide you with mood-boosting happiness, pride, and achievement when you complete any form of exercise. Moving your body in a way that makes you feel proud of yourself and comfortable in yourself and your body is pretty great, right?
Helps with Depression, Stress and Anxiety
It is often explored that exercise can have similar effects on mild to moderate depression and anxiety as antidepressants. Of course, it won’t be the exact same positive effect, but the studies have shown that the hormones released throughout exercise help to relax and assist in the brain’s overall functioning. Maintaining a daily exercise regime can see relapse less likely to occur, as well as assist in providing a sense of routine and consistency in your day to day life. Routine often helps in reducing stress and the feeling of overwhelm. Exercise also allows for a time of distraction and time to focus on you, your health and happiness for even just 20 minutes of your day.
There are a whole lot of reasons that exercise can help in lessening the severity of depression and anxiety. It has been found to reduce inflammation and promote changes within the brain, and thanks to the endorphins that are released into the brain, provide heightened feelings of calm and greater positivity.
The importance of a good night’s sleep for your physical, but more importantly, your mental health is extremely extensive. The connection between exercise and providing consistent and high-quality sleep has been widely researched and subsequently proven, as the amount of slow-wave sleep, that ‘deep sleep’ feeling, increases after undertaking ‘strenuous’ exercise, being when your heart rate has been raised above its resting rate.
As well as your body taking on that deep sleep, due to your mood being increased with exercise, when your head hits that soft pillow at night, you generally aren’t as worried or stressed, with these negative feelings often leading to hours of overthinking, resulting in less quality, slow-wave sleep.
Time to Socialize
The motivation, connection, and accountability that goes along with exercising with a friend whether it be attending a gym class together or going for a walk and coffee is pretty awesome. It is such a productive and fun way to socialize, getting two really effective and important activities to boost your mood ticked off for the day in one go!
Socializing provides our brain’s overall cognitive development and mood with a plethora of goodies.
So, get yourself a gym buddy, set up a weekly coffee and walk with a friend or join a local sports team to benefit big time in more ways than one!
As you move your body whilst exercising, your blood is pumped around the body and up to the brain, where your thoughts and memoires are of course developed and stored. Due to this, the size of the hippocampus, which is responsible for storing and referencing memories, is enlarged.
Exercise also increases the strong connections between all of the nerve cells within the brain which in turn, this improves your memory and helps to protect your brain against injury and disease.