Exercise is a power-booster for your mood. When you grab an exercise buddy, you’re getting the full DOSE.
As you exercise, you are creating happy chemicals and the increased circulation moves them around your body, like when you put oil in your car and drive it around a bit to get it moving through the system. Your blood starts pumping and the machine works out all the kinks.
What is DOSE?
DOSE stands for Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, Endorphins. These are the mood-boosting Happy Chemicals that are created in your body to reward you with good feelings for doing something good for your survival. Here is a basic breakdown of each one:
Dopamine – Rewards for doing something good for you, achieving goals, satisfying survival instincts such as food, shelter, finances, etc.
Oxytocin – Love Hormone triggered by interaction with others. There is safety in numbers and we are wired to seek out our tribe and reproduce.
Serotonin – Master Mood Booster that rewards you for “leveling up.” Think job promotion, increasing a skill, gaining respect and recognition
Endorphins – Pain relievers. These are quick bursts of happiness to help you feel better.
How does Exercise give you the FULL DOSE?
When you are exercising, you are strengthening your body which triggers Dopamine and Serotonin, which are both rewards for achieving goals and leveling-up. When you workout with a friend such as going on a walk, joining a yoga class or partnering at the weight machine, you start releasing Oxytocin, which is a bonding chemical.
Finally, the harder you work out, the more Endorphins are released to cover over the pain of your workout. These trigger a euphoric feeling, responsible for the “runner’s high.” What’s great about Endorphins is that the good feeling can also trigger the Serotonin Domino Effect, making you feel even better.
The type of exercise is up to you. Studies have shown that Yoga is best for releasing mood-boosting chemicals in your brain since it can also be a form of meditation, which is good for creating DOSE as well.
Whether you walk around the block, take a yoga class, or train for a marathon, exercise should be done daily to get what I call the Daily DOSE of happiness and improve your life one day at a time.