Does exercising, being health and happiness go hand in hand?

Whether you love it or hate it with a passion, we all struggle to find time to get in our gym session or spare some time to nip out for a run. You may be the kind of person who cannot wait to get into the gym and love it when you are there or you may be the kind of person who hates exercise and dip in and out of a schedule – but some research suggests that there could be a pretty big link between physical fitness and being happy.

What is Happiness?

The thought of happiness is a subjective concept and one in which we all chase. Happiness can stem from a wide variety of factors like money, relationship status, education, religion, family, age and much more. But one thing many people over look and might be surprised about is physical fitness and how it affects happiness.

Fitness Releases Sex Hormones

Being fit has numerous benefits from being able to ward of sickness and disease to maintaining a hormonal balance – but the number one reason why people work out is down to it providing general happiness. During physical exercise the brain releases endorphins, which are chemical known to produce feelings of euphoria. These endorphins trigger the release of sex hormones which enhances mood and creates a sense of well-being.

Fitness Fights Stress

Aside from increasing sexual endorphins, exercise can also boost happiness levels by helping to reduce stress. When we exercise, our bodies burn the stress hormone cortisol, therefore, too much stress, and high cortisol levels, can increase feelings of nervousness and anxiety while decreasing motivation and immune function.

Overall, working out and keeping fit keeps us healthy, reduces stress and even provides a short term high, the number one reason is overall happiness. It may not be able to cure all illnesses and issues, but keeping fit is a great beginning to a healthy and long life.