I found that this week's chapter was very interesting, especially, ''What Makes Us Happy" on page 424 to 425 caught my attention. I'm pretty confident to say that everyone wants to be happy and in response to that people read many books about how to be happy. According to the text book, there are certain things that make us happy such as marriage, friendship, religion, political affiliation, exercise, gratitude, giving, and flow. I was surprised to see exercise makes you happy not because I was not aware of it but because I have proven to myself how it makes me happy. Today I would like to share more findings about it. I read that exercise not only makes you happy but also makes a difference in your brain size
According to new research found by Lindsay Smith and Dr Nickolas Smith from the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, you can experience a significant mood boost when you perform more intense workouts than less intense workouts. The scientists measured the mood before, during and after the vigorous workouts and what they found is that only the vigorous workouts enabled participants to have respectably elevated moods even 20 minutes after the workout. This is interesting because exercising is what I do when I get stressed. I usually ride a bike when I am stressed and after I finish exercising I find myself feeling better than before. Especially when I ride a bike faster than usual I feel that I did something good and feel pretty good about it.
I also found a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that adults aged from 55 to 80 with one year of aerobic exercise such as running or biking increased the size of the hippocampus. As you know, the hippocampus is the area that is in charge of memory and spatial navigation. As you get older, the hippocampus becomes smaller and it can result in dementia or impaired memory. The volume of the hippocampus plays an important role in terms of memory function.
These two findings perhaps suggest that we should consider exercising in order to be happy and healthy. Next time when you are stressed or depressed why don't you try some intense exercise? It is cheaper and healthier than drinking or shopping after all.
http://www.bps.org.uk/news/feel-burn-and-feel-better The British Psychological Society