ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

3 Significant Ways Exercises Makes Us Happier

Updated on May 21, 2017
Shandala profile image

Shannon is a freelance writer based in Toronto, Canada. She is currently completing her degree in Professional Writing and Communication.

Exercise makes you happier!
Exercise makes you happier! | Source

Does exercise make us happier?

Short answer: Sure does! Why? Let's take a look.

Exercise Sculpts A Happier, Healthier You

When a majority of people start an exercise program, they're doing it with a particular goal in mind: improving their physical health. This can be translated a multitude of ways, whether it be losing body fat, improving cardiovascular fitness, building muscle, or training for an athletic eventit all circles back to improving the physical body.

But there's an aspect to exercise many people don't consider when they first begin. It's something that can't be understated and that makes the act of physical exercise all the more beneficial and appealing. Besides making you slimmer, stronger and healthier, what's this magical bonus factor to working out? Well, simply put...exercise makes you happier.

Get those happy neurotransmitters flowing with some exercise!
Get those happy neurotransmitters flowing with some exercise! | Source

1. Happy Neurotransmitters

This is the one most people have heard of in one way or another. Exercise...yadda, yadda...endorphins...yadda, yadda...energy boost...yeah, we get it. But let's take a closer look here. What is the brain busy with up there while we're sweating it out?

Neuroscientist Judy Cameron, PhD., explains that the increase in blood flow and circulation that occurs when you exercise affects the brain, helping brain cells to perform more efficiently. Once you start exercising, you raise your heart rate and increase blood flow and oxygen intake. This gives you a kick of neurotransmitters: endorphins, dopamine, glutamate, serotonin and norepinephrine.

Endorphins are released by the brain to buffer the physical discomfort of exercise. They help quiet pain signals, making physical activity easier to complete. Dopamine counters stress and fights depression. Serotonin elevates your mood and helps regulate sleep patterns and appetite. So, when you start exercising, you get rewarded with a big whack of happy chemicals flooding your brain and body.

BDNF: a brain boost for your fitness efforts!
BDNF: a brain boost for your fitness efforts! | Source

2. BDNF

Here's a contributor to brain health during exercise that's not as common knowledge: BDNF.

BDNF stands for brain-derived neurotrophic factor. During exercise, the brain encourages nerve cells to release proteins. These proteins are called neurotrophic factors. The one we're interested in is BDNF.

What does this protein do? It helps brain stem cells to convert into new neurons. It simultaneously repairs memory neurons and protects them from any future damage. Essentially, this fantastic protein is helping your brain heal and protect itself!

Enjoy a post-workout energy boost!
Enjoy a post-workout energy boost! | Source

3. Energy!

Feeling sapped? Forget the coffee run. Hop on a treadmill instead!

I know it sounds backwards, believe me. How can you gain energy by expending it? Nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS, RD, states:

"Contrary to popular belief, exercising doesn't make you tired it literally creates energy in your body. It all begins with tiny organs called mitochondria. Located in our cells, they work like tiny power plants to produce energy. The more you exercise aerobically, the more mitochondria the body makes to produce more energy to meet your needs, which is one reason how and why regular cardiovascular exercise actually creates more available energy for your body."

Exercising for a happier, healthier brain
Exercising for a happier, healthier brain | Source

There you have it. Exercise increases your mitochondria count. More mitochondria? More energy. More energy with a healthier, better protected brain and a bunch of depression fighting, smile-inducing neurochemicals floating around in it too. Exercise is superb not just for your physical fitness but for your brain, mood and energy levels too.

Happy exercising!

Resources:

Bouchez, Colette. Exercise for Energy: Workouts That Work. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercise-for-energy-workouts-that-work

Klein, Sarah. This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Exercise. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/04/body-on-exercise-what-happens-infographic_n_3838293.html

Dr. Mercola. Physical Exercise Boosts Your Brain Power in 20 Minutes, Helps Stop Brain Shrinkage. http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/05/18/exercise-benefits-brain-health.aspx

Stryker, Krista. 7 Surprising Ways Exercise Can Make You Happier. http://www.12minuteathlete.com/exercise-and-happiness/

Widrich, Leo. What Happens To Our Brains When We Exercise And How It Makes Us Happier. http://www.fastcompany.com/3025957/work-smart/what-happens-to-our-brains-when-we-exercise-and-how-it-makes-us-happier


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Shandala profile imageAUTHOR

      Shannon 

      4 years ago from Canada

      Nice, Amy! Thanks for the read and the feedback! That's awesome you're using exercise as a way to keep on track in other areas of your life. I find that when I'm keeping to a regular exercise routine, I experience so much more balance in all other areas of my life. I love that exercise energizes us too! You really do get out what you put in!

    • Amy Naylor profile image

      Amy Naylor 

      4 years ago from England

      Interesting!

      I've found over the last month or so having started taking up jogging in the mornings that my moods have been more stable and, well, happy. I figured it was simply because I was creating a routine for myself, getting up early and giving myself more hours in the day to get things done, therefore becoming more productive and feeling like I've accomplished something. I guess these factors do add towards happiness, but now I know the science behind it too!

      I also read somewhere that exercise helps with motivation and things like that, I took it up to get me through the exam period.

      Great hub, thanks!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)