5 Reasons Why Exercise Can Make You Happier
Today is the International Day of Happiness, a worldwide event that encourages people to try and create more happiness in the world around them. There are so many ways to celebrate this day, and exercise is an excellent choice!
Have you ever noticed that you feel happier after a workout? There is a reason for that. Research has found a positive relationship between physical activity and happiness.
Gillian Mandich , Health Promotion and Happiness Researcher at Western University, shares these 5 reasons why exercise can make you happier:
1. Better Mood
Exercise is not just good for your body, it is also sublime for your mind! Happiness and exercise are both independently associated with the release of endorphins (feel good hormones). And the mood-boosting effects last long after your sweat session (just 20 minutes of exercise can have mood benefits for up to 12 hours)!
2. Decreased Stress
Exercise is a natural and effective way to reduce stress. It decreases cortisol (a stress hormone) and can help relieve tension in your body. Some exercises such as running, cycling, or lifting weights help get your body into a rhythmic flow that can help relax your mind and recalibrate your body after a stressful day.
3. Improved Immune Function
Research has shown that people who work out often take half as many sick days due to colds and sore throats per year as compared those who don't work out because exercise may boost immune cells and improve your body’s ability to kill bad bacteria and viruses. It can also increase the rate at which white blood cells (the cells that help your body fight infection) circulate throughout your body.
4. Superior Sleep
Regular physical activity is a great non-pharmaceutical alternative to improve your sleep. In fact, research suggests that150 minutes of
moderate to vigorous activity per week can provide a 65% improvement in sleep quality.
5. Enhanced Energy
It may seem counterintuitive, but taking a walk may boost your energy and fight fatigue better than a nap. Exercise acts directly on your central nervous system to increase energy, and it delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues to help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.
“Exercise may very well be the most effective instant happiness booster of all activities.”
~Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky
I'm a happiness researcher, which means that every day I read about, think about, and study happiness. Although I don't feel that I've landed on a definition of happiness that fully encapsulates the emotion, I do know for sure that whatever happiness is, it most certainly includes an element of letting go, of surrendering. When we choose to let go of expectations and instead we choose to celebrate and appreciate life as it is now everything changes, especially our happiness. unedited photo: @lianalouzon makeup: @florenciataylormakeup #happiness #happy #happywednesday #glitter #sparkle #letgo #surrender #celebrate #happyresearcher #inputsuitofmagic
A post shared by Gillian Mandich (@gillianmandich) on Feb 1, 2017 at 5:53am PST