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Exercise gives a boost to the mind as well as the body: Here’s how

by John Burns (follow)
Exercise & Fitness (62)      Stress Management (56)     
We’ve all felt the feeling of euphoria that comes after a satisfying bout of exercise. If the exercise was particularly strenuous, we may mistake it for a wave of emotional relief that the torment is now over, but in truth it is something deeper than that.



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As well as helping to hone our bodies, physical exercise has a major impact on our emotional well-being, and has been used as an effective and natural way to combat depression and anxiety.

But why is that? Here are a few of the ways exercise helps to improve our mood and brighten our outlook on life.

Endorphins

You might have heard the phrase “runner’s high” and dismissed it as a general term for someone who feels good about their running ability. In fact, a runner’s high is caused by the release of chemicals called endorphins – similar to morphine – into the brain.



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The body releases these chemicals during exercise and they contribute to the almost superhuman feats of strength and pain-cancelling endurance displayed by athletes. A marathon runner carrying on and on despite her body being on the verge of exhaustion? A swimmer ignoring the cramp in his muscles to complete a race? Endorphins have a big part to play in both.

Improved Sleep

Regular exercise has been proven to help us to sleep better, which in turn improves our general health, both physically and mentally.



health tips, exercise tips, how to be happy
Image from Pixabay


We live in a hectic world and many people find it increasingly difficult to get the recommended 7 or 8 hours of sleep per night, which might not seem like too much of a problem, but it is. The fact that use of sleep deprivation as a punishment is outlawed under the Geneva Convention might give you some indication of how much of a problem this can be.

[LINK http://www.end-your-sleep-deprivation.com/dr-william-dement.html Dr William Dement of Stanford
University] has spent much time researching the effects of inadequate sleep, and has identified links to disorders such as anxiety and depression. Other dangers of a lack of sleep include inability to process glucose properly and a marked increase in appetite.

Self-Esteem Boost

Exercise also greatly improves confidence. Exercising regularly serves as proof to yourself that you have the self-discipline and determination to follow through on an exercise plan. This in itself will give your self-esteem a boost.

Image courtesy of SenshiStock from deviantart.com


This boost will be augmented as you begin to see the results of your exercise plan in your body when you look in the mirror. Improved confidence, better body-image and a general brightening of mood all go hand in hand with a regular exercise regime.

So if you’re feeling down in the dumps, grab your trainers and head out for a jog!

Related articles
* The very best way to exercise
* Solving the exercise dilemma
* How to establish and maintain an exercise routine

Categories
#Exercise & Fitness
#Stress Management
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