October 4, 2016
4 Ways Exercise Makes You Happy
You have heard it before – exercise can make you happy!
In fact, a good workout has been shown to work wonders for those who are so unhappy, they are depressed. There are many components to what makes you or me a happy person each day, and not surprisingly, exercise helps with a lot of them!
Exercise Gives you Better Memory
It’s hard to be happy when you feel like your head is in a fog. Exercise has many benefits on brain health, but the release of a certain chemical – Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor – may be a major contributor. This chemical works with serotonin to regulate brain cell health and growth. It has been linked to improved long term memory. And it may not take all that much activity to get the effect. So the next time your brain is making you frustrated – it may be time to take a walk!
Exercise Means Less Stress about Health
It’s pretty hard to be happy if you are stressed, and there is no stressor quite like your own health. These days, the message that ‘you may not be healthy enough!’ is everywhere. Nighttime TV is plagued with prescription medicine commercials, the news reports on the latest health scares – even the coming cold weather reminds us of flu season.
We aren’t helpless pawns in our own health though, and exercise – even small amounts – has repeatedly shown a number of impressive health benefits. It can greatly decrease your risk of heart attack, which is the #1 killer in the USA. A good workout decreases circulating growth hormones in your blood, which is a major contributor to cancer growth. And a bout of physical activity boosts your immune system, helping you fight or even avoid the coming cold.
Exercise Gives you a Better Night’s Sleep
Staying up late into the night can make for very unhappy mornings. But what if you can’t seem to get to sleep or stay there? Exercise can help you fall asleep sooner and sleep better all night. Regular exercise may work even better than random visits to the gym, so getting into a morning workout routine may help your evening routine. Getting the right amount of shut-eye offers a lot to be happy about, besides just waking up in a better mood. It also improves immunity and memory.
Exercise Gives You Strength for Every-day Life
Exercise makes you, ultimately, stronger and fitter. And we don’t necessarily mean so that you can run a marathon (although that’s great too!). The fact is, most daily life doesn’t require a 20+ mile run. It does require occasional lifting, like when a friend needs help moving. Sometimes it requires a day on your feet, like when you explore a new city on vacation. And sometimes, life just needs you to bring in all the groceries in one trip please, because the car isn’t supposed to be parked there, and was that a parking officer you just saw?
Getting to the gym isn’t always about what number you bench press or miles on the treadmill – sometimes it’s about how many aspirin you won’t need after a weekend of raking the leaves.
If you could think clearer, worry less about health, feel refreshed and awake, and survive whatever life throws at you, would you be happier? We think so! Exercise can help you with all of these things – and the best part, is it doesn’t need to be extreme.
If you are having trouble getting exercise in, try starting small. Walk up one extra flight of stairs a day, workout for 10 minutes in the morning twice a week, or take the long way to class on Thursdays. Small goals set yourself up so you almost can’t fail, and success is a huge motivator. First succeed, and then let your rising level of happiness motivate you to do even more!BACK TO ALL