Exercise and Happiness

December 25, 2014

We all know that exercise comes with great benefits that go beyond a small waist or sleek arms. The most apparent benefits are great protection against :
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Back pain
  • Osteoporosis
Beyond these excellent physical benefits,eExercise also elevates mood, and induces happiness! It does that in many ways:
  • Releases dopamine, an important neurotransmitter that supports fillings of happiness and pleasure.
  • Relieves stress.
  • Increases energy.
  • Relieves anxiety.
  • Wins the fight against insomnia.
Many studies have found that the happiness gained from dopamine is temporary, and recent research supports those findings.   In fact, the long-term value of exercise is that it actually trains your brain to be be optimistic! Additionally, in a recent study from the Penn State University, researchers tracked the amount and level of physical activity, the amount of sleep, and feelings of well being of 190 college-age students for eight days. The participants who were more physically active had more positive feelings than people who are less active, particularly on days when they were more physically active than usual. How important is this in the long term?  Another expansive study in held in 2007 followed more than 6,000 people between the ages of 25 and 74 for 20 years, it found happiness and a sense of hope, involvement in activities, and the ability to deal with life’s stresses with emotional balance may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. So get out and exercise for healthy and happy holidays leading into the Happy New Year!

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