Can exercise affect my mood?
There are numerous reasons why exercise is valuable to our overall health, but did you know it could have a beneficial effect on our mental health by boosting our mood and has even been said to reduce the rates of depression?
Various studies have shown that regular exercise can have a positive affect on our mental health, helping to reduced depression in three positive ways
- Increasing the release chemicals in the brain, such as neurotransmitters and endorphins, our happy hormones that may ease depression
- Reduce immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
- Increase overall body temperature causing a calming effect on the body.
Endorphins are a group of hormones secreted into the brain, which are released during exercise. Due to their ability to act on brain “opioid” receptors which are the same receptors that morphine reacts on, it can give you a natural “euphoric effect” that leaves you in a naturally happy, less anxious state of mind.
Because endorphins interact with these brain “opioid” receptors, they also reduce the perception of pain in our brain by decreasing the brain’s ability to recognise pain, acting as a natural analgesic or “pain killer”.
Physical exercise such as swimming, strength training and running are just some of the beneficial exercises to encourage these mood-enhancing properties.
However, simply getting outside and playing with your dog, washing the car, walking around the block and gardening can all have a beneficial effect on your mood!