Campbell Studio NOW OPEN – Click here to find out more

Why Workouts Make You Happy

Share with your friends!

Have you ever noticed that after a good workout, you feel a sense of euphoria and well-being? That post-exercise glow isn’t just a coincidence—it’s the magic of endorphins at work. Let’s explore the fascinating science behind why workouts make you happy and how to release endorphins.

Why workouts make you happy 1

The Science of Joy: Endorphins and Dopamine 

The Endorphin Effect

The “Endorphin Effect” occurs when the body releases neurotransmitters called endorphins during physical activity. Produced by the brain and pituitary gland in response to stress or pain, endorphins act as natural pain relievers and mood enhancers. These molecules bind to specific receptors in the brain, triggering feelings of euphoria and well-being, commonly known as a “natural high” or “runner’s high.” It serves as a powerful motivator for regular physical activity, offering immediate rewards and long-term benefits for mental health and is why workout makes you happy.

Dopamine the Reward Molecule

Dopamine, known as the “reward molecule,” is vital for exercise. During physical activity, dopamine is released, creating feelings of pleasure and reinforcing the behaviour of exercise. This dopamine response enhances enjoyment and motivation during workouts and can lead to long-term changes in the brain’s reward system, promoting continued engagement in exercise and improving overall well-being. 

How to: Releases Endorphins and Dopamine  

Exercise releases endorphins and dopamine through a complex series of physiological responses that occur within the body during physical activity. Here’s a breakdown of why exercise leads to the release of these neurotransmitters:

Stress Response

When you exercise, your bodies perceive physical exertion as a form of stress. In response to this stress, the brain releases endorphins, which act as natural painkillers and mood elevators.

Rewards System Activation 

Dopamine is often referred to as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter because it plays a central role in the brain’s reward system. When you engage in activities that are pleasurable or rewarding, such as exercise, dopamine is released, reinforcing the behaviour and motivating us to repeat it.

Motivation and Pleasure 

Dopamine helps us experience feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, making us more likely to seek out activities that bring us joy and fulfilment. In the context of exercise, dopamine release serves as a built-in reward mechanism, encouraging us to maintain a regular workout routine.

How to Release Endorphins

Reformer Pilates, like other forms of exercise, has the potential to release endorphins and contribute to an overall sense of well-being. Reformer Pilates can facilitate the release of endorphins through a combination of muscle activation, mindfulness, core engagement.

Muscle Activation 

Reformer Pilates involves controlled movements and resistance training that engage various muscle groups throughout the body. As muscles contract and stretch during exercises, they stimulate the release of endorphins to help alleviate discomfort and promote a sense of well-being. 

Core Activation

Many Reformer Pilates exercises specifically target the core muscles, including the abdominals, back, and pelvic floor. Strengthening and stabilising the core not only improves posture and body alignment but also activates deep muscle fibres that can stimulate the release of endorphins.

How to Release Dopamine

Reformer Pilates can also contribute to the release of dopamine thanks to the nature of the workout leaving you with a sense of achievement.

Variety and Novelty

Reformer Pilates workouts involve a lot of variety and novelty which can be stimulating for the brain. Trying new exercises, varying the intensity, or incorporating creative movement patterns can enhance the experience and trigger dopamine release, especially when the brain encounters something novel and rewarding.

Rewarding Experience 

The practice of Reformer Pilates can be inherently rewarding, especially as individuals progress and master different exercises. The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from completing challenging movements may stimulate the release of dopamine, reinforcing the positive experience.

Boost your happiness with Pilates

Exercise triggers the release of endorphins and dopamine, enhancing our mood and motivation. The intensity and novelty of exercise influence the magnitude of neurotransmitter release, contributing to feelings of euphoria and excitement. These physiological responses underscore the profound impact of exercise on our mood, motivation, and overall well-being. 

Ready to see how Muse can be your go-to happy workout? Sign up to our exclusive Intro Offer for just $49 here!