We all experience anxiety, stress, trouble sleeping, and even depression at times. The root cause could just be that our bodies aren’t producing enough endorphins, causing an endorphin deficiency. Endorphin deficiency is commonly referred to as “experiencing the blues,” but exercise is a great way to combat low endorphin levels. During a workout and a good while after, your body produces a surge of endorphins which naturally improves your mood. Whether it was a quick ten-minute jog or a full hour using all types of gym equipment.
Surprisingly enough, our brain and exercise are directly connected. When we exercise, the endorphins that are released interact with certain receptors in the brain that reduce our perception of pain. Endorphins cause a positive boost in mood, feelings of euphoria and well-being in the body while lowering rates of depression, anxiety, and stress. To jump start those awesome endorphins, you should typically engage in physical activity for 30 minutes, preferably three to five times a week.
Another way to up your mental health and happiness is to try exercises that challenge your brain as well as your body, such as those that test your balance and agility. During challenging exercises, the brain is forced to learn new muscle skills, such as estimating distance, which eventually improves stability. No matter your age group, everyone should strive to have and maintain balance skills. Start by challenging your body and mind to learn new moves that not only makes you burn extra calories but also push the brain to keep your proprioceptors – that “signal” information to the central nervous system about the positioning and movement of body parts – in check. Balance exercises force the brain to learn and control the position of a deficient joint. Some moves to try out:
- Single leg balance with reach
- Single leg dumbbell bicep curls
- Stability ball bridge that can be progressed later with adding a dumbbell chest press
A couple of agility exercises designed to challenge balance while also improving strength include:
- Cone drills with quick turns while running from cone to cone
- Speed-ladder drills making quick steps in each ladder box
In group-oriented workouts, such as a boot-camp class or one of Youfit’s “YouGX” group fitness classes – you’re in an environment where everyone is working hard toward a personal fitness goal in a fun, upbeat setting. That sense of community and accomplishment can fuel happiness as it combines exercise and social support.
So go ahead, start your exercise journey now or try adding something new to your existing fitness groove. Youfit’s newest Baltimore location is inside the Raven Shopping Center behind the Exxon gas station at the Northeast corner of Loch Raven Boulevard and Northern Parkway. Visit Youfit.com for a free day pass today!
Adam Romanik is the owner of Computer Solutions for Less, an IT consulting business. Adam has over 15 years experience working in the both the IT industry and libraries and has worked as an adjunct instructor at several educational institutions. Adam earned both a Bachelors & Masters degree in Library Science from Clarion University, has earned 24 graduate credits towards a second masters degree in Information Systems and is an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer).
Adam Romanik is also the president and founder of the Keystone State Gay Rodeo Association. He actively competes both on the International Gay Rodeo Association Circuit as well as locally in the mid-atlantic region.