Have you ever experienced that happy moment after you’ve been exercising when you feel absolutely euphoric? It often happens after you’ve pushed yourself to new limits, or even if you’ve simply gone for a nice brisk walk with your dog. More often than not, we hear our personal training clients say that they feel like they’re on top of the world after they’ve finished a session. The real question is though, where does that feeling come from?
Here are some top reasons as to why you feel so great from exercising:
Exercise affects your body
We know that exercise improves your physical health. An even more interesting thing is that endorphines (hormones that make you feel good – or even euphoric) are released in your brain when you’re active. Specifically, this happens when the intensity of your exercise is between moderate to vigerous, and longer than 20 minutes. AKA, when you’re exercising long and hard enough to work up a good sweat, you’ll get that euphoric feeling. Coincidentally, the Canadian Phsyical Activity Guidelines recommend this amount of daily physical activity as a minimum for adults. Maybe this is part of the reason why Canadians are often so happy!
Exercise affects your mind
It’s no question that physical activity has positive affects on your mental health. For example, it can give you a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of empowerment. It can improve your self-esteem and self-efficacy. Being active on a regular basis has been clinically proven to help prevent anxiety and depression, and it’s also used as a teatment tool for both anxiety and depression. No matter how you look at it, it will help to improve your mental health and make you feel happy.
Exercise affects your social life
When you think about team sports, the social part of exercise is pretty clear. Team sports have a supportive atmosphere and camaraderie. Going to the gym is typically considered an “individual” activity, but it doesn’t have to be, at all! The gym can provide a sense of community, especially when you have a workout buddie, join classes, or train with a Personal Coach. Finding like-minded people to enjoy exercise with is a great way to unwind. It can also give you a strong feeling of belonging. Plus, it’s way more fun to be active with your BFFs (Best Fitness Friends)! As humans, we’re social creatures, and exercise can help us filll that need for social belonging and it helps us feel happy.