Real Talk: Can Exercise Actually Improve Your Mood?

Some days you don’t feel like you can’t even think about working out.

When people start exercising, “even if just a bit,” a number of things can happen, says Lisa Uebelacker, PhD, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School. For one thing, being active can boost your self-esteem, she says. It also helps people manage stress, lose weight, boost mental alertness and sleep better, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

When it comes to more serious mental health concerns, exercise can help with depression, bipolar disorder and problems that often accompany mood disorders, like pain, anxiety and sleep disturbance (insomnia and sleep deprivation), according to a December 2017 review published in Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports.

And a November 2019 study from Depression and Anxiety found physical activity lowers the risk of depression even in those who’re genetically predisposed to it or who’ve struggled with it in the past.

So how exactly does exercise affect mood? It’s complicated. A number of factors are involved. Exercise has long been associated with the release of endorphins (the brain chemicals behind the euphoric feeling known as runner’s high) and serotonin (aka the happy chemical), according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

There’s also evidence that a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may play a key role. BDNF helps brain cells grow and thrive and aids cell-to-cell communication in the brain, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. And Boston University researchers suspect it “may be a primary mechanism of the anti-depressive effects of exercise.”

Exercising really does improve your mood, and that’s me speaking from experience. Follow me so you don’t miss any tips on fitness and nutrition. If you’re looking for help contact me or click on my link for a free consultation. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Published by FitGuy46

Hi I’m a recent grad from NASM. I am a Certified Personal Trainer. I specialize in fitness assessment, program design and weight training. I want to help people who have had difficulties in the past incorporating fitness as a lifetime goal. My desire is to help potential clients see fitness as a lifetime endeavor. My philosophy is that fitness should be sustainable and a lifelong goal. My plan as a fitness coach is to teach my clients to make and incorporate fitness as a permanent part of their lives to be engaging, and for the outcome to continuously be revolving into a better physical shape. Make it a GREAT DAY!!! Philip “FitGuy46”

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