As temperatures cool and the days get shorter, it’s especially important to think not only about our physical health, but our mental health. One way to take care of our bodies while also taking care of our minds is a new exercise routine. According to a study by Yale and Oxford Universities, “regardless of age, race, gender, income or education levels, people who exercise regularly have higher self-reported levels of happiness.”
How can exercise make people happier? Here are eight ways.
Release Endorphins for Improved Mood
During and after physical exertion, the brain releases endorphins. These feel-good hormones reduce our sense of pain and produce a feeling of euphoria. Studies have also found that the more intensely you exercise, the higher your endorphin release will be.
Feel More Energetic and Refreshed
Exercise boosts your circulation, ignites your cardiovascular system and stimulates your central nervous system. All of these effects lead to an increase in alertness and physical energy.
Breathe in Fresh Air
Studies show that the longer we go without being outside, the more depressed we feel. By spending time outside we can interrupt negative emotions and relieve stress.
Get a Better Night’s Sleep
A regular moderate exercise routine can help people to fall asleep and stay asleep, and even achieve deeper sleep for longer.
Socialize With Your Workout Buddies
Having someone else as committed to fitness as you are helps maintain accountability, and it can be fun too.
Boost Your Confidence
As you begin a new exercise routine, you may start to notice physical changes in your appearance and your stamina. Whether you’re losing weight, gaining strength or developing your coordination, becoming a better version of you is always a confidence booster.
Enjoy Deeper Intimacy
As you improve your physical health, you might also start to enjoy deeper intimacy with your partner. You’ll have higher energy levels and be in better physical shape.
Get Away From Daily Stressors
Going to the gym, heading to spin class or running track are all ways to de-stress and make more time for yourself. The more time you make for your personal health, the more energy and focus you’ll have to tackle your to-do lists.
So as the seasons continue to change and, perhaps, our moods along with them, keep in mind that an easy way to remedy our mental health (and to feel healthier, fitter and stronger) is a little exercise.