It’s well known that physical exercise is not only good for the body, but also the mind. Improved self-esteem is a key psychological benefit of regular physical activity. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.
Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in your body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric”. The feeling, know as the “runner’s high”, can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.
Endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives. They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neuron receptors endorphins bind to are the same one that bind some pain medicines. However, unlike with morphine, the activation of these receptors by the bodies endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence.
Regular exercise has been proven to:
Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
Exercise also has these added health benefits:
It strengthens your heart
It increases energy levels
It lowers blood pressure
It improves muscle tone and strength
It strengthens and builds bones
It helps reduce body fat
It makes you look fit and healthy
Working out with a partner/friend has additional health benefits. The social support along with physical activity has been known to help eliminate and/or reduce symptoms of depression.
Healthy in mind and body…