Once you understand your body’s reactions to exercise, you’ll see why work out is for everyone, not just those who are trying to lose weight.
It almost goes without saying that exercise can give you a sense of accomplishment. It can make you feel good because you actually didn’t something productive. By working toward a goal and reaching that goal, you can build up your self-esteem.
Chemical Reactions in Your Brain
A sense of accomplishment is a great thing, but it’s only scratches the surface of why you will probably feel better after every workout. The bigger reason why workouts can make you feel good is that exercising causes certain chemical reactions in your body, and especially in our brain.
You see, when you exercise your body is put under temporary stressful conditions. In other words, exercise is good for you, but your body actually interprets it as a bad thing. The body’s reaction to stress is to produce more of certain substances. It uses those substances to fight the stress and protect your body.
Endorphins are one of the most well known substances that the body produces whenever you exercise. You have probably heard of them, but you may not know what they are or what they do. They are actually peptides, or chemical substances, that your pituitary and hypothalamus glands make during times of stress, like when you are exercising.
Your body produces endorphins because they are natural pain fighters. They can actually block pain receptors in your brain. But endorphins don’t just fight physical pain during and after exercise. They can also improve your mood.
Many studies have proven that endorphins can calm people down, and even give them a feeling of happiness or euphoria. The endorphins produced by regular exercise can even reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.
Another substance that your body produces during exercise is BDNF, which stands for Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. BDNF is a protein that has a direct influence on your thoughts and memory. It has a calming and mind-clearing impact. That’s why you might feel relaxed or seem to have an easier time thinking of solutions to problems after you finish an exercise routine.
BDNF essentially improves the signals in your brain. That makes you think in a more efficient way. BDNF can be compared to Miracle Gro, a garden fertilizer. It doesn’t work in exactly the same way, obviously, but the results are similar.
The Long-Term Benefits of Exercise
As you can see, exercise can help you to think clearly, give you a sense of accomplishment, and improve your mood. Of course, exercise is also a key part of weight loss and building muscle. When you shed unwanted weight, you’ll feel much better about yourself. Therefore, exercise can even improve your self-esteem.
Exercise also has other long-term benefits. For example, it can reduce stress and lower your blood pressure. By doing so, it can also decrease your risk of having heart problems and strokes. On top of that, staying in shape can reduce the general aches and pains that can come with aging.
What all of that boils down to is that, the more you exercise, the better you’ll feel. That doesn’t just go for the hour or so after your workout. The long-term positive impact of exercise is like a ripple effect that can improve all aspects of your life. So, the next time you feel that “high” after exercise, think of it as just one of many great benefits to come.