Most of us are aware that exercise makes us happier! Of course there is the odd occasion when you struggle through a workout and reasons for this could include;
- you have or are been/ becoming ill
- poor mood and stressed
- poor lifestyle habits in the lead up to exercise
- poor mindset or negative self talk
All this aside more often than not, exercise helps improve your mood because;
- Natural chemical high- When we exercise we release a chemical that is found in the brain called endorphins and these endorphins result in a natural high, and helps burn off excess adrenaline, which contributes to a stressed feeing. Therefore the endorphins combat stress. Serotonin levels also are altered through exercise and this results in improved mood and a sense of wellbeing. Serotonin also contributes to functions such as libido, appetite and sleep.
- Distractions from worries and stress- Exercise provides a great outlet where you have designated time to get away from the bottlenecks of day to day and can provide you with your own short term oasis.
- Protects against anger- It has been proven that a single burst of exercise has a protective effect against the build up of anger. Therefore before going into a situation where you fear you may be vulnerable to ill feeling’s , a state of depression or anger, then exercise before this.
- Social outlet- Whether exercising with a friend, family member, team, colleague or PUSH_ Trainer, exercise can promote healthy relationships and remind us all that people can be great for support, inspiration and happiness.
- Build confidence and self esteem- Perhaps the most important reason to exercise in today’s hectic and competitive world, is that exercise leads to feeling fitter and stronger and is a great confidence booster. We often see people move from a state where they worry about their body image or age to someone who celebrates their new achievements, for instance, body, strength or outlook. Exercisers tend to be resilient and look at their body being capable and not flawed.
- Sense of achievement- Fitness is a great avenue to set targets and achieve goals. This can have a domino affect by relating the challenges to other areas of our life and I often here our members say, ‘If it wasn’t for these sessions, I would never have done this…”. As a Coach and PUSH_ Trainer this can give a very rewarding ‘sense of achievement’.
There are so many reasons to exercise that go beyond body shape and health paradigms. The flow on affect from the reasons I listed above are abundant. Feeling great is much better than just feeling ok, so next time you are feeling average, ask yourself have you given your endorphins a kick today?