by Blayne Soriano, Level 2 Crossfit Coach and Crossfit Kids Coach
When you make time for yourself to exercise and move your body, your brain provides pathways — through chemical reaction — to happiness.
Exercise increases endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and endocannabinoids; all associated with feeling positive and feeling happy.
These chemicals also help you feel confident and capable, while decreasing stress and anxiety. They also help you feel less physical pain.
Here are some other benefits of exercise:
- Protects against many chronic diseases
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves heart health
- Aids in weight management
- Improves quality of sleep
- Reduces feelings of depression
- Maintains muscle strength, balance
- Increases life span
- Improves brain function in all ages
According to a February 2021 article in Harvard Health Publishing, exercise also can improve your thinking and memory skills.
“There’s a lot of science behind this,” Dr. Scott McGinnis, an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School, says in the article.
Studies suggest that the parts of the brain controlling thinking and memory are larger in volume in people who exercise.
“Even more exciting is the finding that engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions,” McGinnis says.
If you are looking to feel more happiness in your life and helping your brain be healthy bring exercise into it three to four times a week. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity or a combination — spread throughout the week.
So, get moving!