If you want to feel happier and less anxious, science shows that walking, running, weight lifting, or any form of physical activity can help.
Movement and mood are closely linked. The research is clear – the more you sit, the sadder you become. 
Regular exercise is a must for your physical health, but you may have overlooked the added benefits it can bring to your mental health as well.
You may dread the thought of working out, but after the deed is done, you know you’ll always feel 100 times better.
Here are 6 ways exercise can improve your mood and make you feel happier and healthier:
1. Exercise can increase your feel-good hormones
When you exercise, your body releases chemicals known as endorphins that have a positive effect on your mood and overall well-being.
The release of endorphins can reduce your pain sensations and give you that euphoric runner’s high.
Learn how Andy overcame chronic anxiety by losing 60 lbs with a personal training program at Ultimate Performance.
2. Exercise can improve your mental health
Experts predict that just 60 minutes of exercise per week could cure 12% of all cases of depression and be as effective as current medical treatments for mild to moderate depression. Resistance training is particularly beneficial for improving your mental health and anxiety levels.
Find out how Matt’s 28kg transformation helped him overcome deep depression after years of substance abuse.
3. Exercise can improve your resistance to stress
Not only does lifting weights improve your mood, but staying active improves your ability to manage stress. It’s not possible to eradicate stress entirely, but you can build your resilience to face life’s ups and downs. 
Find out how CEO Linda’s 26kg weight loss has helped her better manage work stress and improve her health.
4. Exercise can boost your immune system
It seems obvious that when you are ill you will not feel well, and stress will only make the problem worse and can negatively affect your immune system. Chronic stress can upset the delicate balance of your gut microbiome, which can increase your risk of both mild and chronic diseases.
After years plagued by colds, flu and illness, Suang says his transformation has made his immune system stronger than ever.
5. Exercise can boost your confidence
When you look good, you feel good, which has a significant impact on your self-esteem.
Whether it’s fitting in with your new clothes, the glow of healthy skin, or you just want to feel fantastically naked. Exercise can give you that much-needed sense of self-actualization and confidence in your body image.
Zrinka’s amazing 53kg weight loss gives her confidence back after years of struggling with weight gain that left her feeling depressed and “worthless”.
6. Exercise can help improve your sleep quality
Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep when it comes to positive mental health. Statistics show that people who sleep less than six hours a night are more than a third more likely to develop depression. 
Dee’s transformation helps her overcome 20 years of chronic insomnia and feel confident again at work.
On the plus side, regular exercise is linked to improved sleep.11 Plus, being out in natural light will significantly improve your body’s natural circadian rhythm.
Build lasting positive habits
With all of this in mind, the key to a consistent exercise program is finding something that fits your lifestyle and that you enjoy.
Aside from planned workouts, increasing your daily activity also has additional benefits for your mental health.
Here are 6 easy ways to increase your physical activity throughout the day:
- Go for a walk with family and friends
- Go for a bike ride
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park further away from your destination or
- Get off public transport a few stops early
- Take up an active hobby like golf, dancing, or a martial art
Being in poor physical condition doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not happy. Increasing your physical fitness can undoubtedly improve your ability to manage stress and promote a happier, healthier mindset.
If you want to improve your self-confidence and your health. Inquire with Ultimate Performance today to find out how we can help.
 i Zhai L, Zhang Y, & Zhang D (2015). Physical inactivity and the risk of depression: a meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49(11), 705-709.
 Basso, JC, & Suzuki, WA (2017). The effects of acute exercise on mood, cognition, neurophysiology, and neurochemical pathways: A review. Brain Plasticity, 2(2), pp. 127-152.
 Boecker, H., et al., (2008). The runner’s high: opioidergic mechanisms in the human brain. Cerebral Cortex, 18(11), pp. 2523-2531.
 WHO. (2021). WER: Movement for your spirit. https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/physical-activity/publications/2019/motion-for-your-mind-physical-activity-for-mental-health-promotion, -Protection-and-Care-2019 [Accessed 21.02.2022], Krogh, J., et al. (2017). Exercise for patients with major depression: a systematic review with meta-analysis and sequential analysis of the study. BMJ open, 7 (9).
 Strickland, JC, Smith, MA (2014). The anxiolytic effects of resistance exercise. Frontiers in Psychology, 5 (753).
 Childs, E., & De Wit, H. (2014). Regular exercise is associated with emotional resilience to acute stress in healthy adults. Frontiers in Physiology, 161.
 Gröpel, P., et al. (2018). Endurance and resistance-trained men show a lower cardiovascular response to psychosocial stress than untrained men. Frontiers in Psychology, 9,
 xii Bae, YS, Shin, EC, Bae, YS, & Van Eden, W. (2019). stress and immunity. Frontiers in Immunology, 245.
 Zamani Sani, et al. (2016). Physical activity and self-esteem: testing direct and indirect relationships related to psychological and physical mechanisms. Neuropsychiatric Illness and Treatment, 12, 2617-2625.
 Zhai L, Zhang H, Zhang D (2015). Sleep Duration and Depression in Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies. Depression and Anxiety, 32(9).
 Youngstedt, SD, & Kline, CE (2006). Epidemiology of exercise and sleep. Sleep and Biological Rhythms, 4(3), 215-221.
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