By Max Tamatoa, HBF Health Services Consultant

Selfie on the beach

Most of us have experienced the “highs” that occur during and after exercise.

It’s no coincidence that going out for a walk or jog, or hitting-it-up at a boxing class can dramatically change how we feel. We’re all well aware that exercise lowers levels of anxiety, depression and stress – exactly what this study from researchers at Princeton University found.

Regular exercise can leave us with a gratifying sense of achievement. For many, it’s a boost of mental strength to help tackle the worries of day.

One of the greatest benefits is that exercise makes you happy

The best part is that anyone, at any age, is capable of gaining these benefits. Here are 6 reasons why exercise and physical activity can help make you feel happier:

1. Regular exercise and physical activity releases the neurotransmitter dopamine – this enables feelings of pleasure and happiness.

2. It improves self confidence and self esteem – not only do you feel better about yourself but it will spill over into other areas of your life, like with career and relationships.

3. Mental alertness – exercise keeps your mind in shape by building resilience and discipline.

4. It increases energy levels – it may seem strange, but it’s true. So get active even though you may not be feeling up to it!

5. Stress relief – exercise has positive effects on stress and hormone levels. Your body will adapt to physical forms of stress, which will help you manage other stress in your day.

6. It improves your sleep – regular physical activity will ensure your body is refreshed and ready to take on another day.

The content of this article is not tailored for any particular individual’s circumstances. The author does not take into account your physical condition, medical history or any medication you may be taking. Any advice or information provided by the author cannot replace the advice of your health care professional. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent those of HBF unless clearly indicated.