Weekend brunch doesn’t have to be the only thing you look forward to after an early Sunday sweat sesh. Exercise has been scientifically proven to release chemical neurotransmitters like serotonin and endorphins in your brain during and after a workout, which will not only relieve symptoms of the Sunday blues, but also keep you on your game come Monday morning.
What is serotonin, and how does it impact my mood?
The well-known neurotransmitter, serotonin, acts as your body’s way of balancing your mood swings and has a bit of control on your psychological function. When you exercise, the amount of serotonin in the brain increases. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the UK conducted a study regarding the optimal types of treatment for mild depression. The study found that aerobic exercises like interval training have natural effects that can relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety by increasing the amino-acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is precursor for serotonin a.k.a. just what serotonin needs in order to be released. Interestingly enough, a study completed by male college soccer players suggested that 30 minutes of moderate exercise decreased feelings of anger for up to 45 minutes post workout. How’s that for a mood enhancer?
Where do endorphins come into play?
Endorphins almost serve the same purpose. Endorphins are another one of the brain’s pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters. These chemicals are ones that you may recognize as “the runner’s high.” When endorphins are released, they can reduce pain, fatigue and even spike a noticeable difference in your mood. To increase endorphin production, you need to push your body. This could include running a farther distance than usual or simply lifting heavier weights.
Next time you’re feeling low, show up for your gym’s next spin class or venture outside for some sprints. Not only will you be one step closer to brunch, but you’ll be minutes away from a good mood. You have your trainer to thank for that.
About Jillian Barnes
Jillian is a nutrition and wellness student in Boston, MA. She is an avid gym-goer and is always on the look out for the newest workouts. Jillian has a passion for the industry that she hopes will inspire others to live their healthiest lives. Follow her on Instagram and check out her site.