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Fitness October 5, 2011  RSS feed

Exercise leads to release of endorphins, which leads to happiness

By Mitch Kurtzer

I s there a link between exercise and happiness? We have known for a long time about the benefits of exercise as a way to enhance our physical condition and combat disease, but the benefits of exercise for your mental health have often been overlooked until recently.

Studies show exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which cause us to have what is commonly known as a“natural high” or a“runners high.”You may not realize what caused it, but most of us have felt it. Most people will attest, it’s the best drug in the world with wonderful residual health benefits.

Endorphins are chemicals in the brain, which bind to neuro-receptors to give relief from pain. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins.When we walk, run, bike or engage in some form of physical exercise, we generally feel happier, less anxious and in many cases euphoric. In addition to increased energy, physically active people may feel a sense of accomplishment in meeting personal fitness goals and feel proud of what those hours in the gym have produced.

Even the smallest amount of exercise three to four times a week can positively impact a person’s life.Typically, half an hour of continuous, moderately intense exercise releases endorphins.The payoff for this small investment is fitness, endorphins and happiness .

Mitch Kurtzer is the owner of Retro Fitness in Edison. For more information, visit http://edisonnj.retrofitness.net.