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Elevate your mood with exercise

Apr. 25, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Did you know that regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, boost self-esteem, improve sleep and ward off anxiety and feelings of depression? While exercising, the body releases chemicals called endorphins that reduce your perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling in the body that can make you all smiles. Often referred to as a "runner's high," the euphoric feeling can energize you and provide mood-boosting benefits long after a workout has ended.

Go for moderate exercise that you enjoy. To make sure you reap the most mood-boosting benefits, work out regularly instead of sporadically. If you begin working out with exercises you enjoy, you are less likely to skip your workouts. Try biking, dancing, power walking or jogging on the treadmill to start. More good news: weight training can be as effective as an aerobic exercise in elevating your mood. Aim for two to three days a week of resistance training using machines, cables or dumbbells.

Raise your mood with health benefits. The endorphin release isn't the only thing about exercise that will get you smiling. Exercise strengthens the heart, increases energy levels, lowers blood pressure and improves muscle tone and strength. Just glancing in the mirror and seeing results will keep a pep in your step all day.

Build healthy relationships. People who exercise regularly say they are less stressed, nervous and tense. Sounds like a great group of people to get to know. Joining a gym or group fitness class provides an opportunity to connect with people in a positive, active environment. Take time to build these relationships, in addition to your workout routine, for a happier, healthier life.

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