Be Happier: 4 Life-Changing Reasons to Get Active
There are literally hundreds of beneficial reasons to get active. Exercise is good for your body, your mind and for your social life.
Here are four reasons which I believe will inspire you to get up and get healthy. Once you’ve read through, I know you’ll join me and become a happier, healthier you.
1. Reduce stress
Most of our lives are filled with stress of some sort—whether it’s lack of time, financial struggles, difficult work deadlines or simply trying to herd your children to school.
Stress can lead to weight gain and make losing weight more difficult, so finding time for activity is extremely important.
Stress also often causes over-eating, and this can lead to weight gain. In turn, this can increase your stress and then the cycle repeats.
Even I have succumbed to stress and have hidden in my pantry (where I keep the cookies!) during times of high pressure. Knowing that this wasn’t the best reaction, I took time out and realized that I needed to do something that would help me cope with the stress in my life. I found that deciding to get active in my stressed times allowed me to re-group and focus on myself, and this helped me to reduce anxiety and stress.
2. Feel more productive in work and life
I always used to think that in school we had recess to give the teacher five minutes of peace, but the real reason is much more interesting. Studies have found that after activity our brains are more active, and this makes it easier for us to learn and retain information. (I’ve tested this philosophy on my own children and it definitely works for them.)
You may not be in school any more, but taking a brief recess for activity, especially when you feel drained, may improve your focus and make you more productive. Feeling that you’re more productive is a great way to beat stress!
3. Positive lifestyle attracts positive people
When you make a conscious effort to improve yourself through becoming more active, your confidence gets a boost. Even better, your new positive approach can convince those around you to also make a positive change. This is especially true if you decide to take a class or join a fitness club.
Who knew that by improving yourself you’d have the potential to improve others, too?
4. Increase your happiness
Who doesn’t want to be happier? Being active promotes the release of endorphins in your body, similar to those that are released when we eat foods such as chocolate. I’d much rather get my happy endorphins from activity, because it’s long lasting. When you eat unbalanced sugary delights, your happy vibe is short lived and quickly followed by a not-so-happy energy drop.
What goes up must come down, and if you constantly spike your blood sugar in this way, you’ll find it hard to balance your mood. Instead, try involving yourself in a healthy activity, as this may make you happier since you’ll have more energy and your mood will be more stable.
Activity really is good for everyone. Think of these four life-changing benefits of exercise as routes to happiness. Less stress makes you happier, being alert and more productive makes you happier and happy people attract positive happy people.
Happily, I think that promoting an active lifestyle will eventually make the world a happier, healthier place.
Written by Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training https://discovergoodnutrition.com/2017/01/plant-based-nutrition/