Exercise and Endorphins

Have you ever had a really stressful, busy day where everything just seems to whiz by at 100 miles an hour? Or have you had one of those long days that just seem drag on forever? Only to get to the gym and walk out thinking “wow! I feel so much better after that”.

Why is that? Why do we feel inherently better after a workout even when we’ve had a bad day? Well most of us are aware of the many, many physiological benefits of regular physical activity, but are you aware that exercise can have just as big an impact on your mental wellbeing and psychological health?

Over my time at Optimum, I have seen this happen more times than I’d care to count and am yet to see someone walk out of a studio in a worse mood than when they walked in. Now, this may seem like I’m tooting the Optimum horn here but let me back it up with some facts.

Regular exercise has been proven to;

  • Reduce stress through lowering cortisol levels
  • Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
  • Improve Sleep
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improve Mood
  • Decrease Fatigue

Endorphins 

The answer lies with endorphins! Now you may have heard of this term before but let me summarise what endorphins are and how they affect us.

Endorphins are chemicals produced by the central nervous system and pituitary gland. Their main role is to inhibit the transmission of pain signals and they may also produce a feeling of euphoria and general wellbeing. When combined with other hormones released during exercise, mainly serotonin and dopamine, you end up feeling much better post-exercise. This is commonly referred to as “runner’s high” by many people.

To get these little goodies flowing you need to exercise for at least 10-15 minutes, but in order to benefit from their full effect, along with the physiological benefits you need to be exercising for at least 30-45 minutes every day.

Looking after your mind is just as important as looking after your body. Physically active people recover from mild depression more quickly and physical activity is strongly correlated with good mental health as people age. So if you’ve had a bad day or are feeling stressed out and down in the dumps then the best place for you to be in inside you’re closest Optimum studio because exercise Is the key to your happiness.

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