Have you ever considered the scientific reasons behind why you exercise?
These reasons are many:
- Cardiorespiratory function improvement
- Musculoskeletal strengthening
- Neurological benefits
- Endocrine and biochemical function improvement
- Body weight normalization
- etc, etc
These benefits are some of the reasons we feel better when we undertake exercise. Some people simply want to reduce their body fat or look more toned and this may make them feel better, more confident and therefore happier.
So lets go a little further….
So what happens physiologically when we take exercise?
Activity produces biochemical changes within the body through forced intensity increases when compared to a resting state. The increases in energy requirement, muscular force, neural feed, endocrine movement, etc. makes our bodies move blood, gases and nutrients more quickly and over a period of time, more efficiently.
Here is the feeling bit…
Our amazing bodies adapt to the intensity increases and improve efficiency accordingly. We feel good, not only from the psychological element of perceived strength, speed or stamina gain but from the endocrine release during and after the exercise itself.
During activity we release not only stress hormones to make our bodies operate faster and longer but also opiate hormones during and after exercise which make us feel relaxed, calm and peaceful.
So there are both physiological and psychological reasons why we feel good when we exercise.
Body weight normalization and muscular tone
Many people take up exercise to reduce body fat and/or increase muscular tone. All of the physiological adaptations listed in the first paragraph will occur to varying degrees, regardless of the activity or end goal. So it is fairly safe to say that all individuals taking part in a level of exercise beyond a state of rest will feel the benefit of physiological adaptation and an accompanying psychological feel good factor.
Next time we’ll discuss what our motivations are to exercise.
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