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Limber up, work out and be happy

senior lady using weights to keep fit


Limber up, work out and be happy

Exercise may not be at the top of everyone’s list of favourite pastimes, but there are plenty of good reasons to get out and get sweaty. TRISTAN HALL explains how exercise can indeed make us happier.

Yes, exercise is exhausting, and it gets you all sweaty, and is just generally difficult to do.

Your mental health is nothing to take lightly, and if all it takes to feel a little better is getting out a bit more, isn’t it worth a shot? If you aren’t convinced, here are some of the most prominent benefits of exercise.

Researchers from Dartmouth College’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience have found that frequent exercise helps people to be more productive and generally happier during the workday.

But how? Everyone has heard that exercise releases endorphins, but the explanation stops there. There is seldom any elaboration as to what that means, or how it happens.

When you exercise, your brain generally thinks you are having a “fight or flight” moment. You’re either fighting a predator or fleeing from them. Due to this, your brain tries its best to reduce the stress on you during these moments.

Firstly, you release endorphins which are meant to minimise your discomfort while exercising and block the pain from your muscles during the act.

At the same time, your brain releases another chemical, a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). The purpose of this protein is to protect your brain from stress, and it acts as something of a reset switch for your memory neurons.

This means that once you have finished exercising, you feel much better as your brain thinks that you have escaped from a stressful or dangerous scenario.

Exercise fights disease, releases endorphins, helps manage stress, boosts energy, helps you sleep better and can prevent or reduce obesity.

Daily exercise and proper dietary habits will help your mental state, physical wellbeing, and cardiovascular health in one fell swoop.

 Tristan Hall is an exercise physiologist with Full Circle Wellness. Call 0431 192 284 or visit

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