It’s understandable that there are pleasures for food, drugs gambling, or sex. Some people, however, find the pleasure from exercise more difficult to comprehend, let alone achieve. Exercise undoubtedly provides extremely good health benefits, including cardiovascular benefits, blood flow to the brain and general well-being.

As a natural antidepressant, exercise should be done every day for a minimum of 20 minutes to reduce stress, and to create a healthy heart and mind. Recently, research has proved the beneficial effects of daily exercise not only physically, but also mentally.

Regular exercise demonstrates that there are large changes in the brain, like the growth of new blood vessels increasing the geometric complexity of dendrites. Exercise can work as an antidepressant, as it blunts the brains’ response to physical and emotional stress. It releases this stress and leaves people with an exhausted yet exhilarated feeling.

Exercise also increases pain threshold and reduces acute anxiety. The reduction of anxiety occurs through the activation in certain parts of the brain that release hormones, which ultimately reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. These hormones could include dopamine cells, which create a sense of relaxation and bliss.

Exercise has the potential to become a substitute for addiction just like any other pleasure and should be done in moderation.

Originally posted on: 7 August 2012
Last updated on: 18 February 2024

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