We think exercise is the ultimate buzz. The mood lifting effects of movement are physiological and we can thank our endocrine and nervous systems for serving up the good stuff. The endocrine system is a network of glands that is controlled by the master gland, the pituitary. Exercise triggers the release of various hormones into the bloodstream that gives us all the feels. When you’re bored, looking for a quick pick-me-up or you need to let go of stress, open up your internal medicine cabinet with some yoga or exercise.
Exercise is the Ultimate Buzz
Endorphins are the ultimate feel good buzz chemicals. They reduce tension, anxiety, and induce a morphine-like pain relief. When endorphins are released, there is a feeling of euphoria, aka “the runners high.” This euphoria is often accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.
We love doing FlowLIFT to find that euphoric feeling. Even just 15 of one move on each side can be a game changer. Try this FlowLIFT move called Tick Tock ‘N Rock to get the blood pumping and the endorphins flowing.
Dopamine is the NT we can thank for the feeling of joy. Things like anxiety, depression and just our general stress robs us of experiencing a more blissful state on a daily basis. Exercise can make your brain more sensitive to joy. Over time, regular exercise remodels the reward system in our brains, leading to higher circulating levels of dopamine and more available dopamine receptors. In this way, exercise can both relieve depression and expand your capacity for joy.
Serotonin is a chemical messenger with mood stabilizing capabilities. It also produces healthy sleeping patterns and boosts your mood. Yoga is a great way to naturally increase seretonin levels. Motor activity increases the firing rates of serotonin neurons. This results in increased release and synthesis of serotonin. In addition, there is an increase in the brain of the serotonin precursor tryptophan that persists after exercise.
Practice this yoga quickie that is appropriate for all levels. This is a great little routine whether you are brand new to yoga or just want a simple and relaxing little flow. Take a few minutes each day to practice this and get those serotonin levels on the up and up.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps with the timing of your circadian rhythms (24-hour internal clock) and with sleep. A study from 2000 determined that people with a daily yoga and/or meditation practice created significantly higher melatonin levels in their bloodstream. Participants had higher levels on days that they meditated or practiced yoga while on the days they didn’t, melatonin levels were lower. So for the best sleep, do a little something each day to boost those levels.
Here is a great nighttime routine from Carolina to try before bed. It’s quick, simple and will help to relieve any neck and shoulder tension. Try it daily for a week and see if you get more zzzzzzz’s.
Both men and women release testosterone when they exercise. This can potentially increase libido and give you a good ‘ol boost of confidence.
Get High On Your Own Supply
Overall, your endocrine and nervous system response to exercise can improve organ function, physical appearance and your state of mind. Vigorous exercise such as FlowLIFT in particular, might improve endocrine function. So it’s not all about feeling good, moving your body is one of the best ways to improve and maintain optimum health.