Meet guest blogger Anthony Punshon:
Anthony Punshon is a dedicated Fitness & Nutrition Specialist, Author, Public Speaker, and Trainer based in West Sussex, United Kingdom. To date, Anthony’s work has been featured in a multitude of prominent health, fitness, and lifestyle magazines. Additionally, he authored the “Sculpting the Perfect Waistline” series.
Currently, Anthony is the proud Owner and Head Transformation Coach of PW Physique and Fitness, one of the most renowned transformation studios in Sussex. He is also the Creator of Power Burn Xtreme, Power Living Intensive, Metabolic Xcelerator, and MCX: 30/30 weight loss and body transformation programmes.
He is very experienced at what he does and clearly understands the links between exercise and happiness. Here is Anthony’s guest blog!
5 Ways Exercise Makes You Happy
Exercise is great. Let’s be honest, we don’t always like it at the time. Believe me, during workout sessions I’m regularly called things that would make a sailor wear ear plugs, but the benefits make every breath, grunt, and swear word worth it.
It can lengthen our life, improve our immune system, fight off a tonne of diseases and medical conditions, and make us stronger, faster, and fitter than Steve Rodgers on steroids.
But one thing that’s rarely talked about is how it affects our mental state. Exercise can actually make us happier! And that’s not just something on the back cover of Oprah’s latest book either. To date there are several hundred studies into the link between exercise and psychological wellbeing.
Here’s my top 5 reasons why exercise can make you giddier than a corgi on stilts:
1 – Yo’ be trippin’
OK, so you’re not really on drugs, but exercise does release a nice cocktail of happy chemicals and hormones in your brain. We’ve all heard of endorphins, but did you know exercise can also trigger a release of dopamine?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that increases your sense of pleasure. Exercise… Pretty much any exercise… Will give your dopamine a boost. So chuck some of that on top of the endorphin rush, and you have a top formula for all of the happies!
2 – Kick stress in the nuts
Exercise is something you can lose yourself in. Repetitive movements, pushing yourself to your limits, all helps to work away any frustration you may have built up during the day. By time you’ve finished you’ve often forgotten what you were stressed about, and once your stress is gone and isn’t affecting your mood any more…
Happy chemicals and hormones everywhere! Just when the stresses of the day have all melted, a pleasure party kicks off in your brain.
3 – Bump up your swagger
Let’s face it, a few of us train for health, fitness, or sport reasons, but most of us train because of the way we look. Or more accurately the way we see ourselves.In fact, it’s reported that 91% of women are unhappy with their body and turn to diet and exercise to achieve what they consider to be an ideal body shape. That’s a lot of women!
So as a result, what comes with creating that ideal body shape is increased body confidence. And the best bit? You don’t even need to be there! Just taking steps and getting closer and closer has that same effect. Gratification. Proudness of what you’re achieving. And all of this contributes to increased happiness.
We see flabby bellies. Podgy hips and thighs. Our personality, our achievements… They all might as well not exist because we can’t grab and pull at them in front of a mirror.
4 – Get shit done
Exercise makes your brain sharper, and this was determined by people with pretty sharp brains. Possibly even lab coats.
In clinical trials there was a clear link between fitness, brain function, and less stress at work. And we already know, less stress = more happiness! Exercise improves alertness and ultimately job performance, and we’re wired to like reward. We’re a bit like dogs in that respect. Reward us for something and we’ll wag our tails and jump up and down uncontrollably.
Since we spend a large portion of our time at work, if we can perform better than an oompa loompa on speed, that means better results. And even something as simple as completing tasks fires off the pleasure receptors in our brain, topping up that day’s happiness bucket.
5 – Tackle life like a boss
Exercise makes you stronger, fitter, and just better able to take on everyday tasks. Playing with your kids, walking up stairs, carrying your shopping… Just everything you do on a day-to-day, minute-to-minute basis becomes easier.
Wouldn’t you be happier if every time you bend down to put your socks on you didn’t need to make that little feeble-sounding exhaling noise that you put down to age?
You can’t buy happiness in a can, but you can do the next best thing.
Get up, get moving, get happy!