Have you ever had “one of those days”? You know, you’re upset, sad, angry? It’s so bad you can’t even stand yourself! Then you go to the gym (despite trying to talk yourself out of it) and amazingly…you feel better. Like new money. The stress of the day is gone, the problem worked out in your head, an inexplicable happiness and relaxation washes over you. How did this happen? Can fitness make you happy?
Studies show that this is NOT just a myth. According to 12minuteathlete.com when you work out and stay active on a regular basis, you may have noticed that you feel less stressed out, less anxious and generally happier. They give 7 reason that answer our question, “Can fitness make you happy”.
1. It releases “happy chemicals” into your brain. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain called a neurotransmitter that’s necessary for feelings of pleasure and happiness.
2. It helps you de-stress. Not only can a tough workout help you sweat out the days worries, regular exercise can also help you become less stressed out in the long term.
3. It gives you more energy. Research has shown that exercise can be better at upping energy than stimulants.
4. It eases anxiety. Recent studies on the effects of exercise show that in people suffering from anxiety, the immediate mood boost from exercise is followed by longer-term relief, similar to that offered by medication and talk therapy.
5. It helps with depression. Studies show that exercise mimics the effects of antidepressants.
6. It combats insomnia. Research shows that people who begin exercising regularly report that their sleep quality improves significantly – changing their diagnosis from poor to good sleeper.
7. It gives you increased confidence. When you start working out and achieving goals you never thought possible, you’ll feel an incredible sense of accomplishment.
There is tons of information and research done on the effects of a fitness program. Myth? We say NO! We see it everyday at the Valley Connection YMCA. People come in dragging, depressed or angry…they don’t leave that way. There is a pep in their step, a smile on their face and a renewed energy to their personality. So the next time you feel sluggish of spirit, mind and body ask yourself,… Can fitness make you happy?