Study Finds Physical Exercise Makes You Feel Excited and Enthusiastic

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Have you ever wondered for no particular reason, without any thought process involved? You can feel enthusiastic and excited, especially if you’re one of those people who likes to exercise regularly.

Well, now, researchers have found this to be the case this will be good news for people who suffer from depression or fluctuating moods and want to use something in order to make themselves feel better.

According to what the researchers say people are more likely to feel this way, particularly on the days when they do some kind of physical activity. Furthermore, you may be pleased to know that you don’t have to do tons of exercise in order to reap these kind of benefits, which will be a relief to some people, no doubt.

People often make the mistake of making long-term goals rather than short ones, which can turn to make you feel a bit overwhelmed. However, all is not lost if you do it on a day-to-day basis, and gradually make it part of your life. Not only will you reap the benefits you start to enjoy it more and look forward to doing it. Think of exercise as a reward for feeling good at the end of the day. Some students were monitored in order to back this theory up, and a study was put together to see how it affected them and their moods from day-to-day.

A hundred and ninety students were asked to log their living experiences during the course of the experiment. They logged the following free time physical activity, and sleep quality and quantity. Furthermore, they noted their mental states, which included states of stress and feeling states.

The participants were asked to record only instances of physical activity that went over 15 minutes or more, and also make a note of whether it was vigorous, mild or moderate exercise. The participants returned their diaries to the researchers at the end of the day for eight consecutive days. The researchers used this data and published it in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

The team conducting the research split the student’s feelings into four states, which were pleasant activated feelings exemplified by excitement and enthusiasm, pleasantly activated feelings exemplified by satisfaction and relaxation, unpleasant feelings exemplified by anxiety and anger, and unpleasant activated feelings exemplified by depression and sadness.

Here is what one of the researchers had to say about their findings;

“Our results suggest that not only are there chronic benefits of physical activity, but there are discrete benefits as well. Doing more exercise than you typically do can give you a burst of pleasant-activated feelings. So today, if you want a boost, go do some moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise.”

“Knowing that moderate and vigorous physical activity generates a pleasant-activated feeling, rather than just a pleasant feeling, might help to explain why physical activity is so much more effective for treating depression rather than anxiety,” he said. “People dealing with anxious symptoms don’t need an increase in activation. If anything, they might want to bring it down some. In the future, we plan to look more closely at the effects of physical activity on mental health symptoms.”

So if you know somebody who is very buoyant and enthusiastic and whom also works out, then you will probably know the reason why this is, and I can categorically say myself that I have experienced this. After doing a reasonable workout, the feel good factor can last for ages. And as the researchers noted when they were collecting the data once you go over 15 minutes that’s when things really start to kick in.

It is something you have experienced yourself. I would be interested to know how exercise makes you feel and whether you have any of the feelings like the students did in the study.

Sources and references

Related posts:

  1. Exercise How and Why It Makes Us Feel Good
  2. Study Finds Links to Fatty Food Cravings
  3. Study Finds Clues On Emotional Eating Triggers
  4. Can Exercise Make You Feel Full?
  5. Study Finds Jogging Burns More Belly Fat
About Mark

Mark is the founder and editor of losethattyre You can read more about me here. Follow me on twitter @markcoruk

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  • Sabrina

    Love the idea behind setting small “day to day” goals to not get overwhelmed! I personally have also experienced “runner’s high” though these days I mostly get it from a quick jaunt on my bicycle into town!