The Link Between Exercise And Your Mood

Date : Mar 03, 2020

Author : DR A Zayed

Have you ever found yourself in a bad mood after sitting down all day? Perhaps your day job requires you to sit in front of a computer all day long. Regardless of the reason, sitting for too long may be bad for your mood. In fact, researchers have linked a sedentary lifestyle to depression and other mood disturbances. Read on to learn exactly how exercise might be the medicine you need for a better mood.

Sedentary lifestyle (Remaining Seated or Inactive) And The Risk Of A Depressed Mood

Researchers in China analyzed the mental health of 193,166 individuals. The participants were involved in a total of 24 previously conducted studies. Participants in the studies were from various regions of the world, including Asia, America, Europe, and Australia.

It was found that there does seem to be a strong association between a sedentary lifestyle and depression. In fact, people who watched TV or sat in front of a computer for prolonged times during the day were 25% more likely to develop depression. These results were compared to people who were more physically active during their daily routine.

attractive fit woman in gym

attractive fit woman in gym

Another study looked at how sedentary behavior affects the mental health of participants. Younger individuals were involved in the study. This allowed researchers to point out that the mental effects of being sedentary can start early. All participants were between 14 and 15 years of age. A total of 9,702 participants were involved in the study.

The average person seems to be 43% more likely to develop depression when they are sedentary, compared to a person who participates in leisure-time physical activity. The risk of anxiety disorder symptoms is also increased by about 88% in people who are physically inactive.

How Exercise May Improve Your Mood

There are several benefits that physical activity offers your body. In fact, physical exercise is a critical part of maintaining a healthy body. Further research is still needed to help scientists understand how exactly exercise regulates mood, but it has been found that there are certain chemical reactions that occur in the brain.

One study explains that exercise leads to a neuromodulation activity. In turn, this affects the production of hormones, neurotransmitters, and even certain amino acids. The result may be changed in brain function – with the listed changes being related to advantages.

How Exercise is Related to Mood

A research paper in the MDPI Brain Sciences Journal explains that exercise and mood are related due to the Monoamine Connection. There are several effects that exercise has that enhances the overall function of the brain. In fact, the paper points out that exercise assists in the management of neuroinflammation, and even promotes antioxidation in the brain.

There are also certain neurotrophic factors, as well as neurotransmitters, that change when you participate in the exercise. These particularly include:

* Noradrenaline

* Dopamine

* Serotonin

These are considered monoamine neurotransmitters. All three of these neurotransmitters are known to play a role in the regulation of your mood. When levels of these neurotransmitters are changed with exercise, you may experience an improvement in your mood.

Furthermore, exercise has been shown to provide an improvement in sleep. Sleep deficiency is known to cause irritability, increase the likeliness of depression, and lead to other mental and mood problems. With this in mind, restoration of adequate quality sleep through exercise may yield an improvement in mood through this particular mechanism too.

Exercising outside is also considered a more beneficial option. This allows you to connect with other people while exercising – another factor that has been shown to be critical in the regulation of mood.

Other ways that exercise may improve your mood include the boost in self-esteem and self-confidence that you may experience in the process.


People who live sedentary lives have a greater risk of depression and anxiety. These mental disorders can cause problems with your mood, making you feel depressed, sad, and irritable. Exercise, on the other hand, might be an effective way of elevating your mood, possibly even contributing to improvements in depression and anxiety disorder symptoms.

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