A better mood is just one workout away, we tell ourselves. There is a scientific reason why working out makes us happier, healthier men.
It starts with stress
Working out puts stress on the body, which the brain reacts to. Part of the reason we flip flop before a workout, even though we know how good we will feel after, is because our brain recognizes working out as stress. Starting a workout is the hardest part due to our mental battle. However, it is that stress which directly contributes to happy our workouts make us. More than mind over matter, it is a matter of endorphins over stress. When the brain recognizes the stress being caused by a workout, it releases a number of chemicals, including endorphins. Endorphins help fight stressful feelings. Though endorphins are often called happy brain chemicals, they are really fighting brain chemicals. A healthy production of endorphins fights stress effectively enough that it feels like happy feelings.
Endorphins can act like morphine in the brain due to the way they eliminate pain and stress in the brain as well as the body. People have called a rush of endorphins the workout “high” and a sense of euphoria, which isn’t exactly the same as morphine, but can be similar in nature.
Achieving endorphin release
The only you to experience the release of endorphins in the body is to cause your body enough stress to set off alarms in the brain. Strength training, endurance training, weight lifting, and high intensity interval training, as well as running and cardio, create enough stress in the body to produce endorphins.
Other happy chemicals
Endorphins are not solely responsible for feeling better after you workout. Working out releases other neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine which communicate happy signals to the nervous system. You feel like a better man for your workout not just because you got over your mental block to do it, but because doing it scientifically makes you feel better.
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