Published on October 3rd, 2012 | by Key Reads0
Exercise Improves Mood & Reduces Stress
Exercise is obviously an important factor in physical health, and many know that there are psychological benefits to a good workout regimen. There is plenty of scientific research that shows that exercise improves your mood. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as exercise improves confidence and overall body image. Anything that is good for your body in part should in turn improve the overall function of it.
Being physically active is a natural stress and anxiety reducer, and any form of exercising will get your blood flowing increasing circulation. Exercise improves your mood so well that it is encouraged in treatment for those with mild to moderate depression. According to a study done in April of 2010 by the Anxiety Research & Treatment Program at Southern Methodist University, exercise improves brain chemistry while improving moods and increasing energy after just twenty-five minutes; over time, the improved mood should last longer.
One of the main reasons the idea that exercise improves your mood holds is because of the hormone cortisol. Exercising reduces cortisol. Cortisol is the fight-or-flight hormone, which is the body’s reaction to stress. Every stressful situation increases the body’s production of cortisol. If you have large amounts of cortisol in your body, then you become irritable along with other issues such as:
- • Reduced energy
- • Impaired cognitive performance
- • Decreased bone density
- • Lowered immunity and longer healing process for scars/wounds
- • Increased stomach fat
- • Decrease in muscle tissue
When you exercise, you reduce stress, which in turn reduces cortisol and improves your mood. All of this leads you to be less tense and on edge meaning that you will be less affected by problematic situations and minor issues. It’s a cycle that will continue as you continue to be active. You exercise. You feel happier and calmer. You become less responsive to stress. Less stress equals lower cortisol. Lower cortisol means more energy and improved mood, so you feel motivated to exercise.