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WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY, EXERCISE OR GOOD FOOD?

Both contribute

towards a happy and healthy lifestyle. In fact, the 2 go hand in hand.

Food is a big part of society. Its more than just fuel for our bodies. It also connects us socially. For example it gives us an opportunity to come together as a family or with friends for meal. Its involved in celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries etc. When you start dating someone you might take them out for a fancy dinner or even cook for them. When you feel ill, someone may cook you a hearty meal to help make you feel better. Giving food to the homeless is also another way food can connect us is by allowing us to help other people in more need than us. These are all examples of how food can lead us to happiness externally.

Food can also make us happy internally. There are certain foods that are linked to making us happy. This has been scientifically proven. This happens because certain foods are made of compounds that have been shown to have an effect on our mood. Conversely foods can also have the opposite effect therefore putting us at risk of depression.

The brain releases mood affecting chemicals such as the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin, These chemicals are created by compounds found in food hence some foods are better at helping neurotransmitter production than others. Foods that aid in serotonin production include spinach, turkey and bananas. Spinach is high in the B vitamin folate, which is used to in the serotonin creation process. Bananas and turkey pack lots of tryptophan, an amino acid that's converted into serotonin in the brain.

Like food, exercise makes you happy because of internal and external reasons. Externally, exercise can make us happy because it connects us with people. This could be in the form of playing team sports such as football or rugby. It can also be via an individual sport such competing in athletics or swimming. Exercise may also keep us fit. We may lose weight, build muscle therefore attaining our desired aesthetic outcome. This in turn can give us confidence which for most people makes them happy.

When we exercise our body releases various chemicals. This is because when you exercise the body recognizes this as stress. As your heart pumps faster, the brain thinks flight or fight. To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This protein not only protects but also repairs your memory neurons therefore acting as reset switch. This is why we often feel so at ease and things are clearer after exercising.

At same time, we also release endorphins another chemical to fight stress. The endorphins tend to minimize the discomfort of exercise, block the feeling of pain and are even associated with a feeling of euphoria.

So we can see how both can make us happy therefore a good balance of the 2 makes me very happy. However, they all must be done in moderation.


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