Life sometimes can be stressful. To take the mind off worries, people take refuge in different solutions. All these solutions somehow alter brain chemistry and relieve stress.
However many of these attempts can have negative consequences. Like gorging on chocolate ice cream or using tobacco, alcohol, or drugs.
But there is a fine way to tackle the stress that not only makes your mood good but also spreads happiness.
 
And that way is Exercising. There is a strong link between exercise and happiness.
Achievement of physical fitness goals creates a sense of accomplishment which intern leads to happiness.

The pride of improved physical appearance means the hours spent working out in the gym or at home were not wasted but redirected towards a more active and happy self.

But still, is there really a direct link between exercise and happiness?

We did a poll on Linkedin and 85% of people voted they feel happier after exercising. 10% voted to say they either don’t know or a yes and no, while only 4% said they didn’t feel any difference in mood or happiness after exercise.

Studies on Link Between Exercise And Happiness

It is scientifically proven that exercise has improved the sleeping patterns of insomniacs as well as decreased levels of incident depression.

Exercising also has shown the effects of antidepressants on the brain. This means Dementia patients can benefit from Exercising a lot. It is responsible for the creation of new brain cells in the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.

In the video below, Dr. lvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, is discussing the benefits exercising on the brain and how it may help prevent dementia and other diseases that can otherwise be cured only with medicine. But medicines are not as effective as exercising.

Exercise Creates Antibodies to Protect your Body

A sound mind has a sound body. If you are physically healthy, only then you can be happy. And the thing is when you exercise, a special type of protein is produced in the immune system.

When bacteria, viruses, and other invaders are detected in the body. The antibodies hunt them and bind themselves with antigens and once locked on T-cells, the killer cells arrive and destroy the antigens.

Antibodies remain in the body for if the antigen they were designed to kill shows any backup. They also help in the production of other cells that assist in the immune system.

Disease Resistance

Heart diseases are very common these days. 7 of every 10 deaths in the US are associated with chronic diseases.

While stress and anxiety are making people more immune to heart diseases, happiness creates antibodies that decrease the chances of those diseases by 50%.

On the other hand, exercise increases T-cells in the body and produces antibodies by as much as 300%.

That’s why fitness is very important for your healthy living.

Happiness, Exercise, and Endorphins

Just like antibody production, Endorphins are also produced by happiness and exercise.

They are the chemicals, which cross through the gaps between neurons to pass a message from one to the other.

When a body is subject to stimuli like sex, food, or pain, endorphins are called by hypothalamus cells. Endorphins lock into the receptor cells called opioid receptors and block the pain signals while producing a euphoric feeling.

Endorphins are both pain killers and reward systems in the body. When someone hurts himself or eats something like chilly pepper, Endorphins ease the pain.

There is the term “runner’s high,” which refers to the euphoric feeling one gets when exercising.

Between aerobic state and anaerobic state, when the body is not having enough oxygen to satisfy the muscles and cells feelings of “runner’s high,” occur.

Some researchers say that light and moderate weight training and cardio exercises won’t produce endorphins, only heavy exercises that include sprinting or anaerobic exertion produce endorphins. But it doesn’t mean you should stop working out or go for heavy workouts even if your health or heart is not willing.

Benefits are there, just make sure that you are doing enough that your body is warming up and it breaks the sweat.

Exercises that bring Happiness

From low-level strength training to walking, stretching and even Tabata training exercises that raise your heart rate and give you quick calorie burns can individually be all effective in combating stress and anxiety. Studies suggest that a routine that has more physical activity throughout the day is better than a less mobile routine and tends to drive more happiness.

The video below from the British Heart Foundation can better explain the benefits of workout even if it is done in small proportion:

Impact of Exercise on Mood

Exercise can lift your mood by improving self-esteem and cognitive functioning. Cardiovascular activities are known for producing stress-busting endorphins. They reduce the stress hormones and remove the chances of depression.

There are basically 5 ways exercising improves the mood:

  1. it increase the release of endorphins in body
  2. exercise builds confidence
  3. exercise can prevention or slow down cognitive decline
  4. boost in brain power
  5. exercise helps you relax

Each of these points are well-explained in a video below:

Exercises that reduce Anxiety

Aerobic exercises are especially good for reducing Anxiety. Exercises like brisk walking, dancing and bike rides fall into this category.

Whenever you are feeling anxious or feel like a decision needs to be taken but your brain is not helping you in it, taking a quick walk and reflecting on it is the best solution. You can also reach out to someone wise on that subject but if it’s only your decision to make and no help is available, it is better to take a walk, clear your mind and come up with a solution.

A video below can be a great help in understanding how exercise can reduce your anxiety levels:

Studies that support Exercise for Happiness

There are numerous studies listed on the web especially the one in psychology online that proves the link between exercise and happiness. But one thing is certain and every doctor agrees on this, with physical activity there is a lower risk of developing depression and anxiety.

Gratitude as an Exercise for Happiness

Being thankful for the simple things in life will make you happier. Yes! it’s not only physical exercise that makes you happy. Being more social and exercising gratitude is equally important to drive happiness.

Find out more in the video below:

Changes in Brain that Brings Happiness from Exercise

Both in the moment and after exercise, it is seen that Exercise brings a change in your brain.

Psychologist Art Kramer says, “What everyone agrees on at this point is that exercise has the ability to change your mood because it has a dramatic impact on your brain.”

When you Exercise especially aerobic, your heart rate increases, which means more pumping of oxygen than usual. That oxygen is then distributed to the whole body of which the brain is also a part.

And it is well known that a well-oxygenated brain helps manage anxiety and depression in a better way.

Conclusion

Being happy is the ultimate goal for everything we do in life. From work to family to everything, it’s the personal satisfaction and happiness that a human soul craves for.

But if you are short of happiness, chances are that it is caused by an inactive life and you should probably start taking some workout program. Our Beginner’s Exercise guide might be helpful to you in this regard.

Categories: Fitness

Bilal Ahmed

A random guy on the Internet enthusiastic about Blogging Chess and Football Life motto "make people's lives easier"