Everyone is always saying “Exercise is good for you!”… yeah yeah we’ve all heard that before. We know that exercise makes our bodies healthier BUT did you know it can make your mind happier too?? This month is National Mental Health Month. We wanted to raise awareness this week by helping you understand WHY exercise can lift you and your child’s moods and help to reduce unwanted stress at the chemical level (aka within the brain)!

When we exercise, our brains release something called ENDORPHINS. Endorphins are released when our body feels physically exerted, which usually happens when we start to sweat, our heart rate goes up, and our cheeks turn pink! When our brains release endorphins, this helps to decrease our responsiveness to pain and also relieves stress within the brain. Also when we exercise, our brains release many mood-boosting chemicals. These are called DOPAMINE, NOREPINEPHRINE, and  SEROTONIN. These brian chemicals are all responsible for regulating our mood and promoting internal happiness on short and long term scales. One of the really cool things about Serotonin is that when we exercise regularly, the levels of serotonin in the brain have been shown to increase over a longer period of time. This promotes a greater sense of well-being, which can help your kiddos feel very secure.

Another great benefit of exercise is that it decreases potentially harmful stress chemicals, specifically adrenaline. With regular exercise, the levels of adrenaline in the brain become more balanced. If your kiddo exercises on a regular basis, this may help them feel less of this hormone which tends to make people very stressed out when over produced. 

We know hormones and brain chemicals can get very complicated very quickly BUT the bottom line is….Regular exercise can make your and your child’s brain happier and less stressed. No matter what that exercise might look like for you and your kids, as exercise comes in many forms for many types of bodies, it is important to move in a way that is healthy for your and your child’s body as much as is possible! 

Looking for ideas to jump start your family’s movement today? Watch this youtube video created by Coach Corey Martin, he will have the whole family ducking, dodging, and jumping over imaginary obstacles in no time!

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