Exercise to Improve Emotional Health and Increase Happiness
Exercise not only helps you lose weight and keep your body healthy, it is also a great help to improve emotional and mental health and well being.
Have you ever wondered why athletes tend to have more energy, less stress and a regular sleep cycle?
There is a large number of researches concerning the advantages of sport over our health – both physical and mental. Practicing any type of exercise allows us to feel joy and tranquility, and reduce stress, anxiety and even pain.
As a general rule all types of exercise are positive for improving physical and mental health (including activities such as housework, although its impact is less intense), but some of the sports that have the greatest advantage for mental health are those that involve teamwork, aerobic or a gym.
Although the hormonal response to exercise depends on age, sex, health and weight, these four hormones will be the first to appear when you put your body in motion:
A very important hormone to fight depression! It is a substance that significantly influences our mood and is released after physical activity, especially in the open air. Serotonin appears after movement and is responsible for a sensation of calm that moves us away from depressive states, and also allows us to sleep better and regulate food intake, avoiding excesses.
While this chemical is known to be responsible for feelings such as love and lust, it has more to do with motivation and the cost-benefit relationship, than with the pleasure itself. This is the hormone that allows us to experience a pleasant sensation after exercising, which creates a link between this feeling of pleasure and the activity that pushes us to continue practicing it, as it “hooks” us.
Who does not like to feel the rush of adrenaline? We feel adrenaline in extreme moments, sometimes in situations that are not so positive, but we can experience it thanks to extreme sports or adventure sports. This hormone gives us a super human power. It also helps to fight depression, since the release of adrenaline stimulates the creation of our friend – dopamine, which increases mental well being.
These are the most popular of all hormones and are those that, after exercise, allow us to feel happiness, joy and even euphoria. It works as a natural analgesic, as it reduces the feeling of pain as well as anxiety and stress. It is released immediately after exercise, so you can feel it right away.
Using hormones as our partners we can help our body fight against daily stress and problems that in any other case we would fight with drug medications.
1. Builds Self-Image and Self-Esteem
The continued practice of sports has a positive impact on body image, which has an impact on self-image and self-concept, and enables us to feel more attractive, thus increasing self-esteem.
2. Increases Opportunities to Socialize and Meet New people
Sports are activities that involve a large number of people, and can be a hobby shared by many. This enables common interests with other people, as well as facilitating contact with them. In addition, there are a lot of exercises and sports, such as football or basketball, which have teamwork as one of their main components.
3. Stimulates Proactivity and Creativity
Exercise increases our blood flow, which helps increase our creativity. In addition, it takes us away from the routine and gives us time to have new ideas.
4. Improves Concentration and Memory
Another advantage that has been observed is that sports help to improve concentration and targeting capacity, as well as memory and general cognitive capacity. This can result in improved academic and work performance.
5. Improves the Sleep Cycle
We have all done some exercise on occasion. After doing it, we have probably felt tired and relaxed, and were able to sleep more easily and soundly. It has been scientifically proven that regular exercise makes it easier to fall asleep.
6. Stops Cognitive Decline
It has been observed that people who exercise regularly tend to be less likely to suffer cognitive impairment or dementia such as Alzheimer’s, or to slow down its deterioration in the early stages.
7. Combats Abstinence Syndrome and Addictions
Regular exercise is a recommended activity to combat addictions since it slows down the feeling of desire to consume.
Make exercise a regular part of your life to improve your mental well-being. If vigorous exercise is not possible, consider yoga and tantra, which are also great at increasing our famous hormones: serotonin, dopamine and endorphin. The key is to wake up the sleepy hormones caused by a sedentary lifestyle in order to enjoy a healthier and happier life.
Stay happy and healthy!