Feeling stressed and depressed during the last four months?
Research proves how movement of any kind can help us build resiliency, and find joy in our daily lives.
How Exercise Positively Affects the Brain
Stanford health psychologist and author Dr. Kelly McGonigal PhD says after her research she was surprised at how much our muscles influence our psychological and brain health. The science shows that when we move our bodies, our muscles release chemicals into our bloodstream that improve our mood, reduce anxiety and depression, and make our brain more resilient to stress. Dr. McGonigal calls them the “hope molecules”. Our muscles will do this no matter which activities you choose.
“My latest book THE JOY OF MOVEMENT explores how physical exercise can be a powerful antidote to the modern epidemics of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. The book is at once a love letter to movement and to human nature, including our remarkable abilities to persist, cooperate, and experience transcendence. It, too, is rooted in my experiences as a teacher—I started leading group exercise classes as a graduate student in psychology, and it continues to be one of the greatest sources of happiness in my life.”
Here is the amazing thing, it doesn’t have to be intense exercise to gain these benefits, but the more intense your workout, the more amplified the results! There will get a bigger release of these chemicals if your heart rate is higher.
Exercise reduces the impact of stress
Here is even more good news! On the days we work out, stressful events take less of a toll on our well-being. We are more resilient because of how movement makes us feel about ourselves and our capacity to handle challenges. Not only that, regular exercise changes our brains over time. Studies show that after six weeks of activity, there are functional and structural changes in the brain’s reward system that are similar to what we see from the most advanced treatments for depression. We are more motivated and are better able to experience joy and happiness in everyday life. So we can combine the stress reduction with the joy, who doesn’t want that?
If you are feeling stressed and depressed during this uncertain time of Covid-19, click on the link below and schedule a free phone call with me. We can find ways to incorporate 30 minutes of movement into your life five days a week, and you too can experience joy in your daily life!
Here’s links to a couple great podcasts with Dr. McGonigal:
Kelly McGonigal – Author of The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage
Dr. Kelly McGonigal with Michelle McQuaid: Are You Moving Enough To Build Hope Molecules?