Whether we love it or hate it, many people dread at the thought of sweat, spandex, and sit-ups, exercise may be a prescription for more than just keeping the doctor away. Some research suggests there’s a link between physical fitness and happiness. But the question remains: Can we exercise ourselves happy?
Happiness is a pretty subjective concept. But researchers think happiness has to do with genetics and a range of environmental factors like income, marital status, religion, and education. And one huge predictor of personal happiness isphysical health. The ability to ward off sickness and disease, maintain a hormonal balance, and manage stress all contribute to self-satisfaction. That’s one reason people who work out might be happier than the rest of us—exercise stimulates the production of disease-fighting proteins known as antibodies, which destroy unwelcome invaders like bacteria and viruses. So folks who stay physically active are generally better equipped to combat sickness and stress, a key component of happiness.
During physical exercise, the brain also releases endorphins, chemicals known to produce feelings of euphoria, commonly associated with a “runner’s high.” Endorphins trigger the release of sex hormones, such as norepinephrine, which enhance mood and create a sense of well-being. Exercise can also boost happiness levels by helping to reduce stress. When we exercise, our bodies burn the stress hormone cortisol. Too much stress, and high cortisol levels, can increase feelings of nervousness and anxiety while decreasing motivation and immune function.
Scientists say just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise can help reduce anger and depression.
Whether happiness is among the many benefits of exercise, it’s probably worth taking a jog around the block or a spin on the bike. If nothing else, the change of scenery may be just the mood boost we need.
Working out generally keeps us healthy, reduces stress, and even provides a short-term high. But remember exercise isn't a cure-all for more serious issues like depression.
Author:Kelly Olsen Phone: 201-669-7520 Dated: September 5th 2012 Views: 1,463 About Kelly: Having the right real estate agent means having an agent who is committed to helping you buy or sell...
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