During the holiday season joy can be found in so many ways. Joy can be found by taking in all the beautiful decorations everywhere you go. Joy can be found by looking forward to seeing friends or taking a vacation. And, most imptantly joy can be found within yourself, the joy that you feel after an hour of aerobic exercise.
Did you know that exercise enhances positive mood states? "Wow," you say, "how does that happen?"
Firstly, mood is defined as a state of emotional or affective arousal of varying, impermanent duration.
When you exercise aerobically and engage deep breathing, increased blood flow is delivered to every part of your body, including your brain. That translates into maximized oxygen consumption by cerebral tissues, thus changing the neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, endorphines, and serotonin).
According to S. Biddle in Exercise, Emotions, and Mental Health (2000) psychologists and psychiatrists rate exercise as the most effective technique for changing a bad mood.
So what is a good mood? A feeling of elation, enthusiasm or happiness lasting several hours. Guess what, all you have to do is exercise aerobically if you want to put yourself in a good mood. It's just that simple.
Exercise doesn't have to come from jogging or high impact jumping. Many activities qualify as aerobic, including walking, hiking, bicycle riding, and ice skating with your family.
Research shows that aerobic activity of at least 20 minutes per day, two to three times per week maintains positive mood.
Bring true joy to yourselves and your family this holiday season. Keep up your aerobic fitness and the joy will put zip into all other areas of your life.
Janice Litvin is a Fitness Educator and can be reached at www.ZumbaContraCosta.com