I am simply unmotivated to work out because I could get an amazing body or even drop a few pounds. However, when I have a case of moodiness or feeling a bit grumpy my workout always turns it around!
According to J. Kip Matthews, Ph.D, a sport and exercise psychologist, “When your body comes under stress or experiences pain (hello, burpees), neurochemicals called endorphins are produced in the brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Endorphins, which are structurally similar to the drug morphine, are considered natural painkillers because they activate opioid receptors in the brain that help minimize discomfort. They can also help bring about feelings of euphoria and general well-being.” He further explains, “Endorphins are also involved in natural reward circuits related to activities such as feeding, drinking, sexual activity and maternal behavior.”
So there you have it folks, exercise is a natural pain killer and stress reducer! In my experience you don’t have to put in hours at the gym to reap these benefits. I have taken 20 minute brisk walk and felt these wonderful side effects of moving my body.
For more information about the psychology of exercise and the brain. Read the book Spark by John J. Ratey. It was such an eye opening book about medicine and how our bodies can produce many of the chemicals we need by just exercising.
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