Does Exercise Make You Happy? Science Says Yes

Does exercise make you happy? Four women walking together outside, holding yoga mats and laughing.

Temperatures are on the rise, the days are longer, and our weekend plans are full of barbecues with friends and family consist of barbecues with family – all sure signs that summer is here! With many more sunny and warm days ahead, why not get outside and get some physical activity in? If you’re still shaking off the winter doldrums and the stress of 2020, exercise could help!

Does exercise make you happy, really?

Yes! According to research, exercise has the potential to reduce our risk of depression and improve our overall well being, including improved reports of happiness (Richards et al., 2015). This is because exercises causes our bodies to release endorphins and suppresses the hormones associated with stress and anxiety, including cortisol.

Some great news for those of us who are reluctant or new to exercise is that intense, frequent exercise isn’t necessary! There’s no need to sign up for HIIT class seven times a week to reap the benefits of exercise. In fact, walking, stretching, and other forms of low-impact exercise are just as effective in boosting our mood. Rather than intensity, frequency is the most important factor when trying to combat stress and anxiety in our day to day lives. Try finding an activity that you enjoy and incorporating that into your daily routine! Below are some suggestions of fun activities you can do in the summer sun:

Summer exercise ideas

  • Go for a walk in your neighborhood; or download the All Trails application on your phone to search for local hiking trails in your area.
  • Go for a family bike ride.
  • Start or end your day with a 10-minute morning meditation and stretching session.
  • Try a new workout class with a friend or family member.
  • Play outside with your child! Basketball, soccer, tennis, and swimming are all fun, aerobic physical activities you can do together.

Now you’re ready for a happy and healthy summer break! 

The Social Learning Platform has been a true life saver for me, both with time management (I can easily filter exactly what I need from a wealth of choices) and materials that are of exceptional quality and interest to students of all ages. I love how I can create folders of specific materials for each student and I can easily screen share and have the videos, games and worksheets on the screen for my students to engage with.

– A. Waldmann, M.S., CCC-SLP

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *