20 Mar Biohack your Mood, the Exercise & Emotion Connection
You wake up in a panic because your alarm didn’t go off, your boss is coming down on you at work, and the latest headlines are weighing heavy on your shoulders. You need a jolt to get you out of this slump.
What is biohacking?
According to self-proclaimed biohacker Dave Asprey, CEO, and Founder of Bulletproof. “Biohacking is changing your environment from the inside-out so you have full control of your biology; using your body as your personal laboratory, finding the exact hacks that work for you.”
How does it work?
It’s common knowledge that exercise can make you feel better but what is going on in our brains? The short answer: A LOT is happening.
Most people are familiar with the endorphin release during exercise that improves mood and reduces your perception of pain. But beware the release of endorphins is a balancing act. You need enough physical stress to stimulate endorphin release but, if you overdo the cardio, you can end up with a cardio-induced panic attack.
Jennifer Lange, MFT at Therapy for Change cited a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, “It was found that individuals who exercised at a moderate intensity of 40 minutes, 3-5 days per week, experienced the greatest mood-boosting benefits.”
Other players are sharing the stage with endorphins during your sweat session. Chemicals and neurotransmitters such as serotonin, BDNF, and GABA also play a role. “There are several positive emotional responses to regular exercise. Enhancement of positive mood, growth in self-esteem, opportunity for enhanced social relationships, increase in self-awareness and self-acceptance, and an opportunity to pursue a meaningful activity and sense of accomplishment” states Lange.
These chemicals increase when your body reaches effective muscle failure or fatigue. Don’t let these terms scare you because it is the quick pick me up you’re seeking. Taking a Lagree Fitness class will focus on slow twitch muscle fiber fatigue making it more efficient at increasing the mood-boosting chemicals and neurotransmitters than pure cardio.
How do I know if it’s working?
Not sure if exercise is enough to get you out of your funk? Track your feelings with journaling for a few weeks after starting a regular exercise routine. Journaling doesn’t have to be a huge time suck. Just jot down a few words in your Notes app post workout.
Has it been an intense morning in the office? Stop by InstaPhysique for a quick 40-minute workout session during your lunch hour. Get those endorphins pumping and check in with yourself. Odds are you will have biohacked yourself to a renewed focus.