Does exercise improve mood?

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Yoga Fitness workout


Runners swear by that amazing feeling that they get after finishing a sweaty and detoxifying jog. With physical and mental benefits, the practice of running releases endorphins and can help you feel stronger, clearer, and happier. But how about yoga, qigong and yoga fitness workout? Can the same be said after your 1-hour practice?

So does yoga/ fitness workout and/or Qigong release endorphins? The answer is – yes!

In general, most types of exercise will boost your mood and improve your energy through the release of endorphins. Regular exercise can: 

  • Strengthen your heart, bones, and muscles
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Increase your metabolism, energy, and confidence 
  • Reduce body fat
  • Lowers risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease
  • Improve your focus and memory
  • Reduces stress, anxiety, and symptoms of PMS 
  • Improve your brain function and overall mood 

What Exactly are Endorphins?

Endorphins are chemicals naturally made in our bodies known as neurotransmitters. They transfer electrical signals throughout your body. Endorphins are mostly known to transmit information that helps us feel less stress and pain. Instead, we are able to feel more happiness and pleasure. Endorphins are also known as the ‘feel-good chemicals’.

Endorphins react with opioid receptors that are already located in our bodies. This explains why you feel that great little buzz after a heavy workout, good sex, or a particularly tasty meal. There are numerous other activities that produce endorphins, but the effect may be felt more after a great workout or yoga practice. 

The regular production of endorphins holds many benefits in the body. Endorphins can: 

  • Reduce stress
  • Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety 
  • Boost your overall health
  • Increase happiness 
  • Improve your self-confidence
  • Help you experience feel less pain 
  • Increase feelings of pleasure


How Does Exercise Improve Mood?

In addition to producing endorphins, yoga, qigong and exercise in general also produce another chemical known as GABA. The combination of endorphins and GABA leads to a lasting, calming effect well after your workout or qigong/yoga class has finished. These chemicals can work to control stress and anxiety in a similar way to antidepressants.

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