imageGrumpy days are a part of life. The car failed it’s MOT, the kids are driving you bonkers and work is making you want to scream. That brick wall over there?! That’s looking like the perfect place to smack your head against isn’t it?!

What’s your first response to moments of stress, worry or just a plain bad mood? Chocolate? A sneaky cigarette? A glass of wine maybe? We all have a self medication of choice and after the initial high it usually makes us feel even worse. Guilty, hungover, over-full…the cycle of glum continues.

Before I joined Body Fix Transformation Centre, York, my stress release of choice was a good cry….not a controlled, dignified tear roll down the cheek cry. Oh no! My tears sneak up on me, never respond to control and are of a noisy, sniffly, face contorting type. Embarrassing!

Developing an exercise routine was a game changer. The Body Fix Bootcamp group fitness classes in York are three times a week and they soon became a non-negotiable part of my life. I looked forward to the classes with anticipation and felt a huge mood lift after each one.

Exercise is nature’s good mood booster . Your body’s positive response to a work out is an in built nifty little happiness switch. No mind altering, blood sugar raising outside influences needed. Clever!

When you begin exercising your heart rate rises and your body’s fight or flight mode is triggered. Chemicals are produced by the brain to protect your neurons from the effects of ‘battle’, to numb pain and make you ready for peak performance.

While the only fight you will be having is with your body’s unwillingness to do that extra press up, these chemicals, helpfully and happily induce feelings of well being. The endorphins being generated produce feelings of euphoria, while brain derived neurothrophic factor promotes a sense of clarity and any problems will seem easier to solve.

These bio-chemical rewards for exercise are addictive…..so you exercise more…..it soon becomes part of your routine and a hugely beneficial habit. Your body will come to associate your workouts with feeling happy and will encourage you to seek out your next fix.

Pretty soon you’ll start seeing the positive effects of exercise on your physical shape, gain in confidence and start enjoying all the other wonderful health benefits of being fit too.

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