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Two women stretch their calves on a bench as they take a break from running together.

How fitness and exercise can improve your mood

Why does exercise make you happy? We have five reasons why you shouldn’t skip your workout.

July 20, 2023

Two women stretch their calves on a bench as they take a break from running together.

How fitness and exercise can improve your mood

Why does exercise make you happy? We have five reasons why you shouldn’t skip your workout.

July 20, 2023

Two women stretch their calves on a bench as they take a break from running together.

How fitness and exercise can improve your mood

Why does exercise make you happy? We have five reasons why you shouldn’t skip your workout.

July 20, 2023

How does exercise improve mood?

We’ve all had those days where you just don’t feel like yourself. You’re down in the dumps or just out of sorts.

These are the days when it’s super easy to find an excuse to skip your workout. You think, “I’ve got too many deadlines. Maybe I’m sick. What I really need is comfort food and bad television.”

While it’s normal to feel this way occasionally, putting exercise on the back burner is probably not the best thing for you to do. On these days especially, a good workout might be just the thing you need to improve your mood.

Why does exercise make you happy? It’s one of our body’s natural mood boosters. Exercise – whether it’s your favorite cardio routine, arm day with your weights, or just a brisk walk in your neighborhood – isn’t just about keeping yourself physically healthy. From stress relief to self-care to changing your outlook, workouts check a lot of boxes. Research shows it may even reduce the risk of major depression.

Let’s look at five different ways that exercise can help improve your mood and make you feel happier.

1. Exercise can improve your brain function

When most people think about the benefits of a good workout, they think about stronger muscles, a slimmer waistline and a healthier body. But exercise can do good things for your brain, as well. During exercise, blood flow increases everywhere in your body and your brain receives a boosted stream of oxygenated blood. This makes your brain perform better.

One specific way workouts boost your brain power is the gene BDNF, which makes a protein known as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Exercise stimulates production of this protein, which research has shown can lead to improved cognitive performance. Because of studies that have centered on this, some clinicians are prescribing exercise to patients to help them improve brain function.

Exercise can also help train your brain to learn new things. Studies have shown that working out for even just 20 minutes can improve your memory and how your brain processes information. Exercise makes it easier for your brain to create new neuronal connections, which means embracing new kinds of workouts can actually improve how your brain functions.

2. Exercise can encourage positive social interaction

Sometimes when we think of exercising, we see it as a solo activity. But exercise can be a great way to increase your social interaction with others. Working out alongside a good friend or even someone you know in passing from your fitness center or running route gives you a chance for conversation while you’re getting your heart rate up.

This interaction can be a great mood booster . It can push you a little harder to complete your workout or might even make you a bit more competitive. It still works during live virtual workouts too. Don’t be shy, turn on that camera and interact with the group.

Need help introducing yourself to a fellow workout warrior? Next time you go for a run or bike ride or if your fitness center is open, pack extras of your favorite pre- or post-workout snacks like, XS™ Protein Bars or XS™ Protein Crisps and offer one to someone who seems like they could use one.

Chances are you’ll have a new exercise buddy before you know it.

3. Exercise leaves you feeling accomplished

On days when your work or personal life has left you feeling stressed out, it’s nice to know you can leave that all behind when it’s time for your workout. Whether you’re headed outside for a run, hopping on your bike or doing an intense circuit workout, it feels good to set a specific goal and get to work.

How fast can you run your route? How many miles can you log? How many reps will you complete? When you’ve had an especially challenging day, being able to control your workout and come away with a healthy win will feel good.

Since your day was especially challenging, you might need a little help just to find the energy to start your workout. Choose a good pre-workout supplement like XS™ Intense Pre-Workout Boost made with a blend of rhodiola rosea, caffeine and CarnoSyn®* beta alanine for increased energy and sharper focus.

4. Exercise increases oxygen flow

Because exercise increases the blood flow to all parts of your body, it also boosts the oxygen and nutrients being delivered to your muscles. This helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently and reduces the hormone levels that can put extra stress on your heart.

Research shows it can also have a positive effect after your workout ends, leaving you feeling more clear-headed and with more energy to tackle other tasks throughout your day.

Working out also increases your body’s level of “good” cholesterol and can help lower your blood pressure.

5. Exercise releases endorphins in your body

What’s the bottom line with exercise? It makes you feel good. Every time you work out and get your heart rate up, your body releases feel-good chemicals like endorphins in your brain, which improves your mood.

Some people say they experience a “runner’s high,” a euphoric feeling after a good workout that lasts well after the exercise has ended, leaving people feeling energized and with a positive outlook.

You can add to that energy by choosing the right kind of recovery snacks. XS™ Post-Workout Recovery helps support joint health and muscle recovery, which can help your body rebound quicker after working out.†

Get moving and feel better

So, the next time you’re feeling “blah” and thinking about skipping your workout, remind yourself that exercise may be just what your body needs. It’s a form of self-care that will give your brain a boost while raising endorphins and oxygen levels.

It will also provide an opportunity to connect with others and experience a sense of accomplishment. The result will lift your mood and leave you feeling like you’re ready to take on the rest of your day.

Click here more tips for fighting stress and boosting your mood. And if you want expert advice on how to get started with your own exercise routine, check out the XS Fitness program. It includes advice for setting goals, detailed workouts to fit your schedule and preferences, product recommendations, meal planning and the support of an XS Fit Coach others in the XS community.

Amway IBOs and customers can visit xsfitnessprogram.com to learn more. Others can reach out to an IBO for more information or contact Amway Customer Service.

*CarnoSyn® is a registered trademark of Natural Alternatives International, Inc.

†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.