4 Amazing Ways Exercise Makes You Happier

We’ve become more sedentary than ever, and it’s likely no coincidence that depression and anxiety are also on the rise.

Research has shown that 25 to 35 percent of American adults are inactive. Meanwhile, 18 percent of the population suffers from anxiety disorders, while 15 percent of adults will experience depression in their lifetime. Those numbers are significant.

Shifting out of a sedentary lifestyle and maintaining an active lifestyle is so important. Exercise simply makes you feel happier. Here are some incredible ways moving your body can help brighten your outlook.

4 Amazing Ways Exercise Makes You Happier

1. It boosts happy chemicals in your brain.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in your brain that plays a crucial role in happiness and pleasure. While you can get simple dopamine boosts from things like quality hugs and eating good chocolate, exercise is a master at increasing dopamine release. If your mood is a little sour, a solid bout of exercise might be precisely what you need.

That’s not just good advice for young people. Our dopamine stores tend to dwindle as we age, so it’s especially important to keep exercising throughout your life to keep the good vibes up.

2. It eases stress and anxiety.

We all know how exercise can help you get out of your head and relax from a high-stress day, but it actually goes even further. Exercise itself is a source of low-grade stress. Like many medicines, exercising regularly helps your body adapt and be better prepared to handle life’s innumerable small stressors.

Studies have shown that exercise can be beneficial to people suffering from anxiety—comparable to meditation and talking to a therapist! It’s a pretty compelling reason to get your sweat on.

Time to clock another personal best

3. It’s energizing, but it also helps you sleep.

We’ve all experienced that burst of energy we get after we drag ourselves out on a bike ride, to yoga class or to do a workout video. Getting your heart rate up lifts your entire being—especially when you’re feeling a little low.

Keeping an active lifestyle has also been shown to improve sleep and insomnia!  Exercise helps to balance out your circadian rhythms, encouraging you to feel energetic during the day while helping you sleep more soundly at night.

4. You’ll feel more confident.

Exercise isn’t about losing weight. The fact is, even if you don’t drop a pound by exercising, you’ll feel more confident in your body. Getting fitter, stronger and more flexible simply makes you feel independent and powerful. As a result, you actually begin to feel more comfortable in your own skin. By taking charge and feeling strong, regular exercise gives your self-esteem a well deserved boost.

Craving a good jog yet? Find a form of exercise that makes you happy, and keep at it. Exercise is good medicine for all of us.

Related on Care2:

Images via Getty

38 comments

Richard E Cooley

Thank you.

SEND
Peggy B
Peggy B6 days ago

TYFS

SEND
Louise A
Louise A10 days ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
Kathy K
Kathy K11 days ago

Thanks.

SEND
JoAnn Paris
JoAnn P11 days ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

SEND
David C
PANDA B11 days ago

thanks

SEND
Mike R
Mike R12 days ago

Thanks

SEND
Danuta W
Danuta W12 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

SEND
Debbi W
Debbi W12 days ago

If you find an exercise you enjoy, good for you. Doing what makes you happy is very healthy.

SEND
Mona M
Mona M12 days ago

Thanks, our body is not made out of stone but out of vibrant energy, if we don't use it, it becomes stagnant and then....

SEND