What Are the Social and Emotional Benefits of Physical Activity?

We all know the physical benefits of regular exercise. Daily physical activity strengthens your heart muscles, helping prevent heart disease and stroke. It lowers blood pressure and helps fight obesity by reducing body fat, keeping your weight under control.

But beyond all the amazing physical benefits that you get from exercise and engaging in physical activity, did you know that it also affects you on a social and emotional level?

The Emotional Benefits of Physical Activity

Exercise releases feel-good chemicals in your brain such as endorphins which can give your mood a boost. Endorphins are the same chemicals that help your body manage pain. And this explains why endorphins also have the power to make you feel better and why something as simple as a jog or brisk walk can instantly improve how you feel. These chemicals in your brain make you feel more positive and focused, allowing you to let go of any stress you may be feeling. You feel calmer and altogether, happier.

Regular physical activity also improves your self-image which increases your confidence. People who get regular cardio and complement it with strength-training are typically trying to meet their fitness goals. And as they see results of their hard work, they feel empowered and accomplished. And because regular physical activity helps keep you at a healthy weight, you’re happier with your physical appearance.

The Social Benefits of Physical Activity

When you have self-esteem and self-confidence, your social relations improve. Because you feel good about yourself and have emotional health, you don’t shy away from social interactions. In fact, you may even take the first step to meeting new people and establishing new friendships.

People who engage in physical activity have the opportunity to meet new people all the time. You meet people running the same trail as you. You make acquaintances with the people you meet in yoga or cycling class. You might even join a team sport and make friends with all your teammates.

The social benefits don’t just mean that you make friends effortlessly but that you know how to handle yourself in social environments. And this is a great characteristic to have if you find yourself socializing with people often. Maybe your job puts you in front of people every day, or your work has you attending a lot of social events. Your job may even require that you to work in teams. And because of the social benefits of physical activity such as regular exercise or participating in a sport, you know how to work well with others.