Why Physical Exercise Improves Mood

Posted by Zaman on June 24th, 2022

Performing physical activity has numerous physical benefits but what about mental ones? Well, much more! In fact, sport may be responsible for a better mood, less anxiety and depression, or better self-esteem. Not only the fact of feeling good for having met your goals is responsible for you feeling better after training, but it is mainly a hormonal issue. We tell you how sport improves your mood.

Sport and the hormone of happiness

Endorphins are responsible for connecting the neurons of the nervous system, becoming the link between the body and the mind. They transmit pleasure, happiness, joy and help reduce pain. When doing physical activity, these hormones are activated and improve mood, increase self-esteem and reduce anxiety and stress.

How does this process work?

Well, when the emotional part of the brain receives positive stimuli, it releases endorphins. At that moment, the rational part of the brain captures these hormones and informs the rest of the body to carry out this action again because it makes you feel good, increasing levels of happiness and pleasure. That is why sports can end up "hooking" the people who practice them, since this process is repeated several times and the body memorizes that it makes them feel good.

Other hormones that are activated by physical exercise

  • In addition to endorphins, there are other hormones that are also released when you do physical activity. Among these we find neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.
  • Dopamine is related to rewarding emotions such as joy, confidence, enthusiasm or optimism. When we enjoy high levels of this hormone, we are calmer, we have patience and a stable mood.
  • Serotonin regulates negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, anger, fear, but also positive ones, such as joy or enthusiasm. Adequate levels of serotonin are responsible for a good mood, increased motivation and sexual desire.
  • Norepinephrine promotes attention, learning, sensitivity to emotions and sociability. When levels are high, they facilitate memory, alertness, and sexual desire. In addition, by increasing body temperature, it facilitates relaxation and a better mood.

How does playing sports affect the brain?

Well, the effects of sport on the brain are numerous and the following stand out:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety levels.
  • Boost creativity.
  • Slows down the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Improves self-esteem and confidence.
  • It enhances cognitive abilities such as memory, attention and concentration.
  • Physical exercise and depression

According to the Very Interesting Magazine, it is estimated that one in six women and one in ten men suffer or will suffer from depression throughout their lives. Currently 350 million people suffer from it, figures possibly underestimated given that depression is now considered taboo in many societies. Although we are all familiar with the term and on many occasions, it is trivialized, being confused with processes of mourning, apathy or sadness, depression is a disorder that must be diagnosed by a specialist and that leads to tiredness, feelings of guilt, lack of concentration and loss of overall motivation. Although depression should be treated both with psychological therapy and with certain drugs, physical activity can be very beneficial for these people and has no harmful side effects, quite the opposite.

Numerous scientific studies aimed at preventing depression have confirmed that physical exercise reduces the risk of depression. In addition, they have suggested that the more exercise you practice (more than five hours a week), the less likely you are to suffer from this disorder. However, even if a person already suffers from depression, physical exercise still has therapeutic effects. In fact, physical exercise has an effect like that of psychological therapy and some antidepressants, reducing the symptoms of depression. In this case, high-intensity aerobic exercise has greater benefits than strength-based exercise.

If you are always in a good mood, it is no coincidence, it is because you enjoy doing physical activity daily. Because it is not only important that you move, but that you have fun while doing it. You must choose good sports and fitness stores to have the equipment of sports that best suit your needs.

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Joined: June 24th, 2022
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