Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
Have you ever been having a bad day… and even though you didn’t want to go exercise… you did… only to find yourself feeling much better than you did an hour ago?
That’s the power of dopamine, natural chemicals your brain releases during exercise, which give you feelings of happiness and pleasure.
A new infographic from Cleveland Clinic takes a closer look at how exercise can make you happy.
How Exercise Can Make You Happy
#1 Manage Stress
One in 10 Americans suffers from depression. Unfortunately, this figure is expected to rise. Because increased release of stress hormones can damage or prevent cell growth in brain regions that control mood, exercise is a great choice! Exercise is a natural combatant to stress and depression.
#2 Fight Depression
The American Psychiatric Association recommends exercise as an effective treatment option for depression. Randomized trials offer evidence that aerobic (walking, running, biking) and resistance (strength) training benefit people with depression.
Aim for three to five 45-60 minute sessions per week. Some evidence suggests depression may lift within four weeks of starting an exercise routine.
#3 Learn New Things
Whether you’re new to exercise or have been hitting the gym for years, consider taking the time to explore new activities. Sign up for different fitness classes; explore new sports and activities. Or, you may be motivated, like many people, to walk a certain number of steps a day. Challenge friends using your wearable device.
#4 Do What You Can
Any amount of exercise you can work into your schedule is good for you! Just because you can’t meet your current goals or fit five hours of workouts into your weekly schedule doesn’t mean you should give up altogether. Also, keep in mind that exercise can have a social aspect that improves your mood and happiness.
#5 Enjoy Many Benefits
Regular physical activity can lower blood pressure, improve your cholesterol profile and help manage blood sugar. It strengthens muscle and bones, while also improving flexibility and balance. Lastly, regular physical activity may help you reach a healthy weight, which results in looking and feeling great!
If you liked this post, be sure to check out “What Happens to Your Brain When You Exercise.”
See an Orthopedic Doctor Near You In Houston
Is joint pain preventing you from exercising? Find out how a Houston orthopedic doctor may be able to help you. Schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.