A lot of times I struggle to find the energy to get myself up and to the gym. Either I’m having a bad day, it’s muggy outside, or I’m just a little bit too tired. What I’ve noticed, is that on those days, if I do manage to exercise, I feel a little bit better after. Once I looked at some information online, I understood that going to the gym is very beneficial in changing your mood and making you feel energized.
The main factor here is your endorphins. They come from the pituitary gland and central nervous system, and tell us either when we are in pain, or when we are happy. The endorphins are what are known to give someone a runner’s high when they get into your bloodstream. Along with endorphins, another chemical released is dopamine. Studies have shown that with age, the levels of dopamine in the body begin to decrease. Exercise is the best way to stimulate this neurotransmitter, and get your body feeling good and energized.
Exercise not only releases these chemicals which make you feel good, but it also will help you decrease your stress levels. It is interesting how this works: When you exercise, you are stressing your body, but at a low rate. The more you do this, the better your body becomes at handling this low level stress, and the better it will be at handling other stressors in your life. As a person who stresses about everything, this is very good to know.
Here at Penn State, a study was conducted with 190 students. They were asked to keep a journal for eight days, and report on their physical activity and daily experiences. When noting their physical activity, they rated it based on how intense it was. The results were published and showed what they had expected. Those who engaged in more physical activity were reporting more pleasant experiences than those who were not exercising as much.
To simply summarize the information, yes, exercise will make you sore, but it will also make you feel better overall. By releasing certain chemicals during a workout, we are able to feel energized and more positive.