Exercise can make us happier.
But what activates happiness in our brain when we exercise?
Why do we feel significantly better when we exercise regularly even if we didn’t necessarily feel bad before?
I’m about to show you…
Keep in mind all the benefits of exercise can be greatly enhanced by exercising with friends who will keep you in good spirits – and motivated.
Table of Contents
- 9 Ways Going to The Gym Makes You Happy
- #1. Releases Endorphins
- #2. Strong Emotional Perks
- #3. Easy Access to Workout Equipment
- #4. Exercise Boosts Confidence
- #5. Exercise Is A Natural Anti-Depressant
- #6. Exercise Energizes You
- #7. Exercise Reduces Anxiety
- #8. Exercise Fights Insomnia
- #9. Exercise Reduces Stress
9 Ways Going to The Gym Makes You Happy
#1. Releases Endorphins
You’ve probably heard of endorphins, but you might not know what they are or what they do. Endorphins (endogenous opioid neuropeptides) are the chemicals in your body that reduce the perception of pain, help your immune system fight disease, and help you relax. Endorphins are natural mood boosters, and enhance feelings of satisfaction and optimism. Exercise helps you release endorphins, and it reduces other hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which lead to feelings of worry, tension, and anxiety.
Going to the gym regularly can help you have a more positive mood because of the endorphins that are released. In particular, Beta-endorphin and beta-lipotrophin increase in response to acute exercise.
Elevated serum beta-endorphin concentrations induced by exercise have been linked to several psychological and physiological changes, including mood and ‘exercise-induced euphoria’, altered pain perception, menstrual disturbances in female athletes, and the stress responses of numerous hormones (growth hormone, ACTH, prolactin, catecholamines and cortisol).
This study further explains the role endorphins play in exercise and acute strenuous activity.
#2. Strong Emotional Perks
Stress can cause habitual negative thinking, and even physical symptoms like upset stomach and chronic body pain. Exercise offers a distraction from your worries, whether you’re on a hiking trail alone or in the gym with some buddies you’re giving yourself an opportunity to forget about everything else and focus on the present.
When you’re at the gym or even hiking with friends as I like to do, you have a chance to socialize which is important for overall well-being. You’ll start to feel happier and more accomplished as your social circle grows with other great people, and your fitness and appearance begin to improve! And if stress is something you struggle with and you can’t always get to the gym or go for a hike, I’d check out Pure Calm. It’s an herbal remedy that’s works incredibly well to balance you out and keep you calm.
#3. Easy Access to Workout Equipment
Sometimes it’s difficult to get a well-rounded workout with adequate intensity from the comfort of your home. And unless you’re well-versed in TRX or have thousands to spend on exercise equipment, the gym is usually the next best bet. You don’t have to engage in extreme physical activity to get the psychological benefits of exercise. Muscle relaxation techniques, conscious breathing, stretching, and weighted workout machines can help you combat stress, and improve health and physique. When you’re at the gym, you have a lot of options.
If you decide to get to the gym, keep in mind these 10 well-intentioned fitness tips from personal trainers that will actually hurt you.
#4. Exercise Boosts Confidence
When you’re not stoked about your body – and when you feel like a slug – your self-esteem can take a hit. Low self-esteem can negatively affect every area of your life – including your goals, aspirations, career, and relationships. Once you begin to exercise and see your body transform, your self esteem will begin to change. Exercise will cause a better self-perception, and will also increase confident, independence, and feelings of strength. There’s nothing like a big boost in self confidence to make you feel happier.
I think you’ll enjoy this interview I did with LifeHack author Daniel Wallen, of The Wallen Way, where he shows us how to get fit fabulous and healthy!
#5. Exercise Is A Natural Anti-Depressant
Exercise can act as a replacement for anti-depressants. In one study, people who used fitness to combat depression had the same level of success as participants who used anti-depressants. The intensity and duration is up to you and your individual needs and desires. I’d recommend at the very least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each and every day.
Avoid these 7 common mistakes most people make at the gym.
#6. Exercise Energizes You
You’ll probably have days when you’re just too tired to exercise, and working out is the last thing you want to do. No matter how fatigued you are, though, you should still try to muster the willpower to exercise in some way. Typically we need to exercise the most the when we really don’t want to! C’mon, just get it over with, you’ll probably feel more energized throughout the day and happy when you’re leaving the gym.
I think you’ll really enjoy this podcast I did with pro strength athlete Jared Enderton of Weight Lifting Talk – Life Training From A Professional Weightlifter.
#7. Exercise Reduces Anxiety
If you have bad anxiety, exercise might be a cheap cure. There are some recent studies that show people who suffer from anxiety get an immediate mood boost from exercise, followed by longer-term relief. Among psychological disorders, anxiety disorders are most common and are associated with the most impairment across various domains of human interaction, including significant impairment of relationships, care giving and job productivity.
One of the biggest triggers for anxiety is work related stress. If this is the case for you, apply these 11 tips to eliminate work stress.
#8. Exercise Fights Insomnia
If you suffer from sleep problems, try going to the gym instead of taking sleeping pills. Keeping active and exercise on a regular basis has been shown to improve sleep problems in people with sleep disorders. Regular exercise can significantly improve your sleep quality, and it can also give you that little bit of extra energy that you need to jump out of bed and get things done in the morning.
These are my 3 unknown tips to help improve sleep.
#9. Exercise Reduces Stress
Regular exercise will help you be less stressed in the long run. When you exercise, you’re actually putting your body through stress. By raising your heart rate and triggering hormonal changes you subject yourself to exercise stress, which your body will begin to get better at handling overtime.
All of the benefits of exercise – how it can make you less stressed, more rested, and happier – can be amplified and enhanced by going to the gym! Along the emotional and physical results, your gym buddies will keep you in line, keep you motivated, and offer an incentive to go to the gym and socialize. Going to the gym helps you meet other healthy, positive people who want to work out and improve their lives.
You’re going to meet people who can help you stay on the right track and inspired. Consistent exercise at the gym will help increase your happiness. Consistency is key when you’re after long-term benefits in anything, and going to the gym can help you stay consistent with more than just fitness.
Questions or insight? Drop us a line in the comments section below!
Health by choice, not by chance.