8 Ways Exercise Makes You Happier

Being on top of my A game is important to me in my line of work because my job is to coach other people to do the same!

I do motivational speaking, personal training and massage. If there is ever a day where I am feeling a little less motivated and not in peak condition I know that I must immediately move the energy that is stagnant in my body! My mission is to make someone else feel better after they see me and that’s all I need to drive me. Think about the reason you like being in peak condition. Use that as your fuel.

What I have learnt over the years is that movement is key to performing at your best. Whether that’s at work, as a parent, at the gym, as a partner, in your daily life etc.

Feeling down in the dumps? Do a gym class!
Is work stressing you the hell out? Do a HIIT class.
Single life getting you down? Work out!
Your partner annoying you? Do a boxing class.
Tired of feeling weak throughout your day? Do strength training.
Losing your breath going up the stairs? Start jogging.

I have experienced the benefits exercise provides and it goes far beyond changing your mood. You begin to look at life more optimistically. You begin to be more joyful. It’s simple, life is easier when you are fit because it is easier to do everything you want to do!


I always say if you have a healthy mind, you will have a healthy life and a healthy body. Cardio helps clean up your mind, especially if you are someone who suffers mental health issues. It also improves the function of your circulatory system and lungs. The risk of developing many serious diseases is greatly reduced when you engage in a cardio workout routine. The beauty is that the benefits are not purely physical, however. As you improve your body, you are also improving your mental stability, and that has to be my favourite point! Over the last few years I have noticed the shift towards mental instability and I love nothing more than helping people regain that control.

Several hormones are released during exercise, particularly cardio, which reduce stress and produce feelings of well-being.


Endorphins are introduced to your body during exercise because they fight pain and allow you to continue with your workout. Running releases more endorphins than any other form of cardio. Endorphins serve not only to fight pain, but also to increase feelings of euphoria, fight depression, reduce stress, and slow the signs of aging.


Serotonin is the hormone in the body that is responsible for feelings of love. During cardiovascular exercise you blood is flooded with this chemical. Once it reaches the brain, it works to boost your mood and fight depression. It also helps to regulate your sleep, memory, and appetite.


Dopamine is an integral part of the brain’s reward system. Your body releases it in hopes that you will want to exercise again. It is the chemical that makes you want to eat, be around friends, and is also responsible for addiction, which is why exercise is useful for recovering addicts. Feelings of pleasure and well-being are associated with dopamine. Cardio not only increases the amount of this chemical in your blood, but also the amount of receptors for it in your brain.
If the long-term benefits of possibly protecting yourself from health damage many years down the line doesn’t help to motivate you, perhaps the knowledge of a short-term increase in happiness will. In any case, it’s clear that cardiovascular exercise has several benefits which will drastically improve your quality of life.

My Top 8 Reasons For How Exercise Can Make You A Happier Person!

1. Increased Energy

My clients question me all the time. “How do you have so much energy!” I’ll fill you in on a top tip of mine: I am most productive AFTER I exercise. I get the most work done and feel amazing doing it. I read this somewhere and haven’t ever forgotten it – treat your body like a savings account; pay yourself first! Always remember that when you are new to exercise you have to ease into it and expect some unused muscles to wake up and say ‘Hello, I hurt!’ Stick with it through this time, until you build your endurance.

2. Become More Resilient

I love getting my clients to a point in their cardio workouts where they are uncomfortable, pushed to their edge and challenged. I believe this is the area of growth and building mental resilience, when you push your physical limits and keep fighting until you reach the end goal. When you are more resilient, you can handle the stress that life throws at you a lot better.
This stronger mindset helps in other aspects of your life, meaning, you can handle more of anything. How good is that?!

3. Decreased Stress

Do you know what I find odd? Stressed out people can begin to feel better in as little as a few minutes! Walking, running, yoga – whatever it is. If you are stressed physically or mentally – just do some sort of movement and you will instantly feel better. Hop onto my Youtube and do this quick routine!

4. Healthy Aging

One of my missions in life is to help prolong life and end suffering. And that begins with exercise because it helps with maintaining a healthy weight. As you age, this becomes harder and harder to do without exercise. It also helps maintain mobility in your spine. My yoga teacher always says “Healthy spine, healthy life!” and it is very true. Also, having muscles that are able to react to your environment and keep you independent make life a whole lot easier.

5. Reduced Depression and Anxiety

“There’s good epidemiological data to suggest that active people are less depressed than inactive people. And people who were active and stopped tend to be more depressed than those who maintain or initiate an exercise program,” says James Blumenthal, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Duke University. “Exercise seems not only important for treating depression, but also in preventing relapse.”
How good is that?!
As hard as it might be, just get up and ditch the excuses! Go for a five minute walk, take up yoga, try running, hire a coach and be happy! Protect your brain.

Sufferers of depression and/or anxiety can sometimes look to temptations that will cause temporary pleasure like a chocolate bar or alcohol. This behaviour will come with consequences that will ultimately feed depression and anxiety even more so. It will aid weight gain and leave you experiencing that dreaded sugar crash! On top of that it will carry over those negative effects into the next day, stealing tomorrow’s happiness. Please protect your brain!
Simply, move your body more – it will have immediate, long-lasting and protective benefits for your body and your brain! Exercise is a huge contributing factor to happiness.
The University of Vermont found that just 20 minutes of exercise can boost someone’s mood for up to 12 hours.
So, next time you’re feeling down, go for a 20 minute run or gym session and reap the rewards for the next 11 hours.

6. Better Sleep

When you sleep, your body temperature drops and this drop in temperature helps you sleep. When you exercise for 20-30 minutes,  five to six hours before bedtime, your body temp will then drop lower than it would if you did not exercise.
Let’s not forget to add the reduction of stress it provides. This all contributes to a better sleep!

7. Strengthens Your Immune System

Exercise can help by flushing out bacteria from the lungs and may also flush out carcinogens by increasing the activity of your lymphatic system, which drains waste from your body.
When your blood is pumping, you are also increasing the rate at which antibodies and white blood cells run through the body. They detect and attack illness.Aren’t our bodies intelligent?!
When you exercise, the release of stress-related hormones is slowed down. Stress is not just emotional – it is very physical. By decreasing those hormones, you improve your health.
Please remember, you must have your exercise:recovery ratio balance right, because too much of anything is never a wise idea. Always give yourself the proper rest and nutrition to aid your recovery.

8. You Live, Not Just Exist

I find that unhappiness can stem from not living, and I mean really living! Taking risks, being playful, trying new things and not just feeling like you are on repeat, losing yourself and just, existing.
Happiness can come when you feel strong enough to do anything you choose to do.
When you can engage in play with kids and grandkids, join friends for various activities, and do more things with your partner, life is amazing.
When you don’t even have to think about whether you are fit enough for basic activities, that is a great place to be. Life is short; never lose your sense of play!

There are many other reasons how exercise can make you happier, but those are my top 8. Let me know yours below.

To sum it all up, doing something is better than nothing, whether its high intensity, a sport or a walk. Find activities you love, do them regularly, by yourself or with supportive people and you are well on your way to a happier and less stressful life.
Keep it up for the rest of your life and your brains function will just keep improving because exercise has also been shown to decrease the risk of dementia and strokes.

Exercise is just too good for your mind, body and soul. Never stop it.