Why Exercise Can Make You Happy
I refer to exercise as my natural high! While other people might spend Happy Hour in a bar, I’m more likely to be found having my happy hour under a bar – a barbell, that is! Most people would agree that exercise leaves them feeling happier than before they started, and they never regret a workout. But why does exercising have this mood-boosting effect?
Well, it sure makes us happy to know we look great in cute outfits! But that’s not the scientific explanation behind why working out makes us happier. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, otherwise known as “happy hormones”. These feel-good chemicals make us feel elated and euphoria. So to directly answer if exercise can make you happy? Absolutely yes.
And the happiness factor is incremental: studies have shown that physically active people like us experience more excitement and enthusiasm in the rest of their daily activities, too, compared to people who are less physically active. Science tells us that will are likely to have more happy feelings, more often, on days we work out compared to days we don’t. Even recovery activities like walking outside can trigger these happy hormones.
What are your go-to exercises when you crave that boost of energy and happiness? I like to run sprints, lift heavy weights or do some kind of metabolic circuit, mixing up body weight exercises with kettlebells or barbell complexes. The harder I work and the more focused I am on the workout, the more excited and exhilarated I feel afterwards!
We’ve always known that there are huge physical benefits to working out: toned muscles, weight management, brighter skin and better posture. But it seems there are a lot of less-visible benefits, too. So next time you need a reminder about why you work out, just remember: it’s good for your soul!