Category Archives: Fitness

Benefits of Exercise – Is Lack of Exercise Making You Unhappy?

Most people know that they should exercise more. However, the hustle and bustle of daily life makes wanting to exercise the last thing a busy person wants to do.

However, evidence suggests that not exercising can make a person blue. Not only does regular exercise increase the feel-good chemicals in the human body, some types of exercise actually help to release the negative and stressful emotions that people accumulate during their daily lives.

As well, exercising in the right conditions can restore balance to the body and give it the necessary antioxidants, all of which make a person happier and healthier.

Elevate Your Mood

According to the Help Guide website, exercise helps people to change their mood. For people who are feeling blue, the best prescription might just be a walk around the block. When a person exercises, he releases feel good chemicals into his body.

These are called endorphins. As WebMD points out, these same chemicals produce a “runner’s high.” The person who feels unhappy may not be getting enough exercise.

Exercise as a Self-Esteem Booster

Often people tie feelings of body image to how they look in the mirror. People who don’t like the way their bodies look often feel unhappy, but Livestrong suggests that getting regular exercise, particularly aerobic exercise can affect a person’s self-esteem levels. This makes sense in the context of the newly toned body the comes as a result of regular physical activity.

Physical Activity as a Source of Fun

No doubt, many people can recall being assigned push ups or a jog around the block as a form of punishment in gym class, but exercise doesn’t have to be punishing, nor should it be.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that people participate in activities like hiking or dancing to get their blood pumping and to increase the fun-factor in their lives. Other fun sports include horseback riding, swimming or flag football.

The light-hearted feeling that results from getting out and doing something fun alleviates feelings of unhappiness, which can come from taking life too seriously.

Feeling Grounded

Some exercise practices such as yoga assist in not only reducing stress levels — as do many other forms of exercise — but they also give the exerciser a sense of being grounded. Yoga moves the energy in the body, making it realign to a healthier state.

Additionally, the poses for such exercises open up the energy centers, releasing pent up emotions and stresses. This in turn lowers the stress hormone cortisol and adrenaline in the blood. When these pent-up emotions get released, it’s easier to feel happy and at ease once again.

Where You Exercise is Important

No doubt about it, exercising in a natural setting can do wonders for a person’s happiness level. According to an article on the Dr. Mercola’s website, spending time in the natural world directly affects a person’s mood.

The trees, rocks and other natural elements absorb the negatively charged particles in a person’s body, which affect the emotions. This holds especially true if a person is able to walk barefoot in the dirt or grass, which grounds the body.

The practice also gives the body the necessary antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that return the body to health.

Dr. Mercola explains that this practice — known as earthing — gives the outdoor enthusiast the proper amount of electrons. For an extra happiness boost, outdoor enthusiasts can try jogging barefoot on the beach or spending time in the ocean to get back those happy feelings.

Conclusion

For people who avoid exercise as some unpleasant chore, perhaps all that is needed is a new way of looking at the exercise experience. Physical activity can lead to higher levels of good chemicals, healthier levels of antioxidants and to the release of negative emotions.

People who exercise also benefit from greater self-esteem, not only due to the positive endorphins that result, but also from the new sense of self and body image. Finally, seeing exercise as something fun and not as a method of punishment can lead to more happiness, because it allows a person to blow off steam and participate in activities that are challenging and rewarding.