Why Exercise Makes Us Feel Great
During your weight loss program, developing a more active lifestyle can help you keep weight off and develop a more toned, athletic physique. However, exercise can affect more than just the body—it also has a direct influence on mood. Your exercise routine can help you develop a more positive outlook on life in general, and this is just one more great reason to get moving during medical weight loss.
Get Fit and Feel Better
When we exercise, our bodies release feel-good chemicals called endorphins that boost our mood. This can result in euphoric feelings after exercise commonly referred to as a “runner’s high.” If you’ve ever noticed yourself feeling more energized or positive after exercise, this is evidence of endorphins at work. Endorphins also bind to neuron receptors in the brain to reduce the perception of pain, much like morphine and other pain medicines, but without the potential for addiction.
According to some studies, exercising may even be as good as antidepressants at relieving the symptoms of depression. In addition to releasing endorphins, physical activity may actually alter the chemistry of the brain, making it useful for not only relieving short-term depressive symptoms, but reducing them for good. Some experts have even suggested that healthcare providers prescribe exercise for depression just as they would medication.
In addition to these effects, exercise has emotional benefits like:
- More confidence. As you meet workout goals and watch your fitness steadily improve, you may find yourself becoming more self-confident. By helping you build and tone muscles, exercise can also make you happier about the way you look.
- Social interaction. Heading to the gym or taking a walk through your neighborhood can bring you face to face with strangers and friends alike. Whether you stop to speak with them or simply share a passing smile, these interactions can help you boost your mood.
- A healthy distraction. When you’re feeling down or preoccupied by problems, exercise can distract you from your troubles, ending the cycle of bad thoughts that can make depression and anxiety much worse.
Because of the beneficial effects of exercise, multiple studies have proven that regular exercise can help us:
- Manage and reduce stress
- Reduce feelings of anxiety and depression
- Improve our self-esteem
- Sleep better
There are many reasons to become more active during medical weight loss, but the benefits to your mood are among the most compelling. By exercising more, you’ll help yourself foster a positive outlook that can help you stay motivated as you work to reach your weight loss goals.