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How Exercise Can Make Us Happy

Updated: Dec 14, 2021

— New York, NY
run, exercise, endorphins, psychology, positive, destress, coping mechanism, exercise science, movement, physiology, sports medicine

When it starts getting colder outside, people tend to spend more time sitting at their desks than going outside. It can be difficult to destress during the winter months, but exercise is a helpful outlet. Regardless of what kind of exercise, from harder types like cardio to lower-impact ones like yoga, it can help reduce stress and improve the day-to-day life of kids and adults alike.

Exercise can be beneficial simply because it increases overall health, but it also has more direct connections to happiness and relaxation. Physical activity, especially aerobic activity, can increase the production of endorphins, which transmit feelings of happiness in the brain. It can also improve your mood by improving your sleep and decreasing anxiety. Exercise imitates the effects of stress and strengthens the body’s ability to work through those effects, which can also lead to improvements in your cardiovascular and digestive systems. Even while exercising, worries drift away to provide a focus on the present.

To begin exercising regularly, it is important to make a plan before beginning. Although the Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, it is important to build up to the appropriate fitness level because attempting to jump right in can lead to potential injury. Scheduling some time to take a walk every day, if possible, is a potential way to get into exercise. An example of moderate aerobic activity is briskly walking, which can be a simple way of getting in exercise during the week.

It can be difficult to stick to a repetitive plan or exercise type, so finding a friend to work out with or changing the type of daily exercise you are doing can be helpful. Having someone else involved with your workouts is an effective motivator for showing up when it starts to feel like a chore. However, if the exercise truly begins to feel like a daily pain, it might not be the best form of exercise. Exercise as a whole can reduce stress and improve fitness levels, despite the different intensity levels of each type. Doing an enjoyable exercise can produce better results physically as well as leading to a more enjoyable daily break.

Making an enjoyable exercise activity part of the daily routine can be immensely beneficial to overall health, within the mind as well as the body. While working towards reducing stress, it is important for exercise to not contribute to the stress as well. It may be difficult to get into a new exercise routine at first, but incorporating movement into daily life can have a tremendous effect on your overall wellness!

Don't walk! Run to sign up for upcoming STEME events.

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