Science backs up the premise that regular exercise actually boosts your mood and makes you a more joyful person. When you workout intensely, physiological changes take place in your body that increase the feeling of happiness.
Cortisol and Happiness
When you are stressed out, feel frustrated, suffer from fears, have anxieties or get angry, your body reacts by producing cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that damages the body’s organs over time. When you exercise intensely, you decrease the amount of cortisol in your body, leading to greater health and happiness.
Feeling Good with Endorphins
Another powerful reaction of the body to exercise is the release of endorphins. Endorphins stimulate the brain and numb pain. They create feelings of elation and contentment. And decrease stress. If you want to feel happier, exercise!
Using Fitness to Feel Better
Although any level of exercise is better than none at all, if you want to use fitness to feel happier, be sure to integrate activities that increase your heart rate into your routine. The positive chemical changes leading to greater happiness are more likely to take place if you engage in activities such as heavy weightlifting, running, jogging, swimming, cycling or any other activity that challenges you on a cardiovascular level.
Working Out with Others
Fitness activities can also create greater happiness by increasing your interaction with others. Training for a marathon with a running partner, playing on a company soccer team or meeting friends at the gym several times a week are all great ways to get both the physiological and emotional benefits regular fitness activities can provide.
Using fitness to feel more joy in your life is an effective strategy. Choose fitness activities that you enjoy and do them with people you love. Mix things up as much as possible. Variety helps to increase enjoyment. Give yourself a couple of weeks and you’ll be feeling great!
Let’s get moving!