Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of exercise is the effect it has on the human brain. There is no other activity that does more to enhance your mood.
So here is how exercise optimizes your mood:
1. It teaches you to single task: In a day and age where multi tasking has become a plague, having an activity that retrains you to single task is golden. After all, countless research has shown that multi tasking is less efficient than single tasking.
2. It promotes social interaction: Even if you don’t talk to anybody and simply exercise away with a hat and headphones, you are still surrounded by people. And countless research has shown that social environments increase mental and physical health.
3. More confidence hormones: Testosterone being the major player here, it does a great job at giving you a sense of dominance and confidence. In fact, high performers, on average, tend to have higher levels of testosterone than underperformers.
4. More heat: Intense exercise will increase your body heat. And more body heat will increase circulation, the exact thing your brain needs to function at peak capacity. After all, it’s blood that supplies your brain with its energy sources.
5. Better mood: As exercise intensity increases, so does the secretion of natural opiates in your body. This is one of the main reasons that you feel so calm and relaxed after a good workout session. Even better, opiates blunt pain.
6. Alterations in neurotransmitters: This happens on two levels, short term and long term. In the short term, you get an instant increase in feel good brain chemicals. Over the long run, with consistent training, your levels of feel good brain chemicals can remain constantly elevated.
7. Better self image: Simply knowing that you are doing something to improve your body can increase levels of confidence. However, once you start to notice changes this increase will be even greater.
Physical activity is arguably the most effective way to change your mental physiology permanently. So don’t delay getting in shape, your mind depends on it!
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