Exercising for Happiness
Happiness is something that we all want to invite into our lives in abundance whenever possible! However, we often go about doing so in different ways. With each individual step on our journey to happiness, we may discover new and exciting things that help us to reach this goal. We meet new people, embrace new pursuits, and learn more about ourselves and what we are capable of. Some of these things may have a permanent influence on how happy we are, whereas some may turn out to not be as positive.
One indisputable way to create a mindset that enables happiness to thrive is by regularly engaging in exercise.
Some of the most obvious benefits of regular exercise are weight loss, weight maintenance and muscle building. However, there are also many advantages to be enjoyed by both the body and mind in other ways. When you exercise frequently, you will notice that your stress levels are lower, that you are less prone to anxiety and that your mood is better and more consistent. And, all of these things help to create genuine happiness!
Let’s take a look at why this is!
A Dose of Dopamine
When you are engaging in some kind of moderate intensity physical activity, you will stimulate dopamine production in your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is necessary for feelings of happiness and pleasure.
Research* has suggested that our dopamine stores naturally become depleted as we grow older. Therefore, finding ways to continuously encourage the brain to make more dopamine as we age is essential if we are to continue being happy!
Getting our stress levels down is something that we can all surely benefit from. The negative effects of leading a stressful life are serious! Stress can make us ill, make us sad, make us irritable – all of which can lead us to treat those we interact with in a different way than we would like to. To put it simply, stress damages our mood and it keeps us from becoming the happiest that we can be!
When you exercise you are actually instigating small amounts of stress to occur within the body as your heart rate rises. This increase in your heart rate causes a change in the levels of hormones that are present, and can therefore have a knock-on effect on your mood.
When you regularly subject your body to small bursts of stress, it becomes much better able to cope with the larger stresses that are encountered in your day to day.
It has been suggested that aerobic exercise is the best way to enjoy the stress-busting benefits of working out, and you can try swimming, running or cycling to get started!
Fuel Your Focus
It is difficult to dedicate much time at all to being happy when your mind is cluttered with thoughts, feelings, worries and anxieties! If you have a busy schedule, or have pressures placed upon you for any reason, then happiness can often take a back seat to getting everything done.
Exercise has the potential to help you clear your mind of all of these stresses, and encourage you to focus more on what is actually important.
How Much Exercise?
When it comes to how much exercise we should be engaging in, there is good news for those who are short on time! One study* suggests that even engaging in a short 20 minute burst of exercise can enhance your mood for the following 12 hours. If this is true, then starting your day with something as simple as a 20 minute run could have a huge impact on how positive the rest of your day is.
At PAMA London we know first hand how fantastic exercise is for health and happiness. With our extensive range of activewear we wish to encourage everyone to get into fitness in a comfortable, stylish and sustainable way. Click here now to check out what’s on sale!