Research conducted by scientists from the University of Michigan confirms that just an hour of physical exercise (and it doesn't have to be a full gym workout) boosts our mood and stimulates the production of endorphins, hormones that make us happy. That's why we feel so good after exercising.
Some people go heavy lifting to cope with stress or distract themselves from challenging problems. That's interesting because initially the human brain perceives any physical activity as stress. The reason for this is that in ancient times, people used to run to hunt or escape from wild animals, not for the purpose of getting into shape.
How come physical activity, which is basically a huge stressor, turns out to be highly effective stress reliever?
There are some interesting facts that explain the impact of exercising on our mood:
- During training, many chemical reactions occur in the body. Endorphins, which are so actively produced during exercise, are a very powerful antidote to fight stress. They reduce anxiety and sensitivity to pain, even produce euphoria.
- Endorphins can be compared to morphine in regards to their effects on the body. Unlike opiates, working out has the advantage of being very beneficial to our health.
- To achieve good results training, it isn't necessary to work out until your heart stops beating. Gretchen Reynolds, author of the New York Times, has a lot to say about that. She even wrote a whole book, which is called "The First 20 Minutes". The book claims that the first 20 minutes of any activity are the most beneficial for your health if you have previously led a sedentary lifestyle. In order to improve your physical and emotional health, you don't need to become a professional athlete. it's just enough to devote 20 minutes a day to exercising. This will help to prolong your life and reduce the risk of developing diseases.
- Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania proved that our mood doesn't depend the frequency of training, but on whether or not we worked out in the morning. Their research showed that people who exercised for a month had better results in memory tests in contrast to those who didn't lead an active lifestyle. However, the best results belonged to the subjects who exercised in the morning on the day of the arranged test.
All these facts once again prove the effectiveness and importance of physical exercise, especially short morning workouts. Take a little time out of your schedule and devote it to working out every morning. This way you will surround yourself with energy and a positive mood for the whole day.