Part of the American tradition is the pursuit of happiness. But what exactly is happiness, and how do you go about pursuing it? You’ll find various answers from various sources, but one approach has science to back it up. Daily exercise is a significant contributor to lasting feelings of joy, calm, and positivity. Maybe you already know this, or maybe you were hoping exercise wasn’t necessary to your emotional health. Either way, you may be surprised at just how this connection works.
How Exercise Alters Your Mood
When you exercise, your brain releases certain chemicals that dictate how you feel. One of them is a protein related to the fight-or-flight response that helps to repair and restore your body. The others are endorphins, which are hormones that reduce your sensitivity to pain and activate your limbic system to produce feelings of relaxation and pleasure.
Although you may associate exercise with pain and agony, it actually leads to the opposite! The effects are durable, as well, lasting well after you’re done with your physical activity. Studies have linked daily exercise with lower depression, anxiety, and stress. When these emotions decrease, you have more ability to feel happiness and hope.
Exercise can also raise your self-esteem as you improve your health, but reaching a weight loss or lifting goal doesn’t create the same lasting happiness as the physical act you did to achieve the goal. That is, it’s the journey that brings us joy, not the end result.
How To Exercise Every Day
Who wouldn’t want these amazing emotional benefits? If you’re ready to experience them, that’s great! Just start slowly to prevent discouraging or injuring yourself. First, talk to your doctor before beginning a regimen. Once you’ve received clearance, begin with 10 minutes of moderate physical activity each day, such as going for a brisk walk or doing yoga.
Slowly work your way up to 30 minutes a day, the general recommended amount. However, if you can’t carve out that much time, 20 minutes is enough to reap the rewards. Slowly increase the intensity of your workouts, too, to get the maximum physical and mental benefits. Have a friend join you for accountability and motivation.
Another Reason To Be Happy
When you take care of yourself, your body will show its gratitude – and so will your insurance provider. You can lower your coverage costs by exercising daily, which will definitely bring you more happiness. For more information on how to lower your insurance costs, speak to one of our associates at Sackett Insurance at 707-823-3689 or request a free quote. You can also learn more by liking us on Facebook, finding us on LinkedIn, and subscribing to our blog.