Imagine Health

Exercise:It’s The Eye of the Tiger

Sweat, heat, blisters, timers, weights, water queues – these are just a few of the issues people raise when considering the undertaking of any kind of exercise. However, there are far more benefits to regular exercise than one may realise; just 30 minutes of exercise can stimulate the brain to release “fun chemicals” such as Serotonin, Endorphins, and Dopamine. These chemicals are released because your body needs exercise, even if your conscious brain despises the thought.

Exercise Chemicals

You may be wondering what makes these chemicals so fun. Let’s take a closer look!

  • Serotonin

Is a neurotransmitter; a chemical that helps relay messages from one cell to the next. Of the approximately 40 million brain cells we have, most are influenced either directly or indirectly by serotonin. This includes brain cells related to mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation, and some social behaviour. A large amount of research investigates the link between imbalanced serotonin levels and depression.


  • Endorphins

These are chemicals which interact with the receptors in our brain by reducing our perception of pain. Their release is often associated with a euphoric sense of wellbeing after completing a moderate amount of exercise; this is also known as the “runners high” but applies to all kinds of exercise. With the influx of endorphins, a person’s outlook on life becomes more energised and positive.


  • Dopamine

Also known as our “motivation molecule”, the neurotransmitter Dopamine boosts our drive, focus and concentration. It even accentuates our feelings of accomplishment when we achieve a goal.

How to Maintain a Daily Routine:

Even knowing this, sometimes it can be difficult to get started and commit to a regular exercise routine. Here are a few methods of ensuring that you maintain daily exercise (and then get a release of those delicious fun chemicals!):

  • Make it fun! You’ll look forward to the activity more if you enjoy it.
  • Do it with a friend – we’ve all heard it before, but making plans to exercise with a friend makes it harder for us to procrastinate to decide not to do it.
  • Set small goals – While your motivation might rival an Olympic athlete, if you aren’t used to regular exercise be sure to set yourself small, achievable goals and work your way up from there. There’s no use getting injured the first week of your training!
  • Get the App – There are a plethora of exercise applications available at (literally) the touch of a button. While the more costly ones may offer fancier graphics and better customer support, the freebies are just as good at helping form a regular routine with exactly the same results!
  • Compete – Though most of us maintain that we are not competitive in the slightest, it actually transpires that it is part of our nature to be competitive. Chase that want to be better than someone else and embrace it by registering for a race. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to train!