We all either are aware, have been told, have heard or read that Exercise is good for health.

People tend to think that it is only good for physical health and wellbeing. Research has proven that the benefits of Exercise extend beyond the Physical, to mental, emotional, and social wellbeing. Positive psychology is a relatively new field of study that aims to understand and promote human well-being and happiness. Positive psychology aims to help people build on their strengths and lead fulfilling lives.

Exercise makes us happier, as science has shown clearly. As we exercise, a bunch of chemicals are released into the brain which impact our moods. The most significant of these are: Serotonin (5-HT), Norepinephrine (NE), Dopamine (DA), BDNF, Leptin and Endorphins.

Yoga, an ancient Indian philosophy and evidence based practice has also been shown to have positive effects on mental health and well-being. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and increase feelings of calm and relaxation through similar mechanisms. Additionally, yoga can also improve physical health by increasing flexibility, strength, and balance. This other article dives a little deeper into the various benefits of Yoga.

Let us look at several other effects of exercise contributing to our happiness and wellbeing.

  1. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects.
    Endorphins are hormones that are released in the brain during exercise from the pituitary gland. They have mood-boosting effects and can help to reduce pain, and increase feelings of wellbeing . (Goldfarb 1997 β-Endorphin Response to Exercise | SpringerLink)
  2. Exercise can help to improve self-esteem and body image.
    When people exercise, they often feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. This can lead to increased self-esteem and a more positive body image. (Dishman, 1990 The determinants of physical activity and exercise – PubMed (nih.gov); Raglin, J Exercise and Mental Health | SpringerLink)
  3. Exercise can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
    When people exercise, their bodies release endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects, and lessen anxiety, depression and stress overwhelm. Exercise can also help to distract people from their worries and to focus on the present moment. (Salmon, 2001 Effects of physical exercise on anxiety, depression, and sensitivity to stress: a unifying theory – PubMed (nih.gov))
  4. Exercise can help to improve sleep quality.
    When people exercise, they often feel tired and ready for bed at the end of the day. Exercise can also help to regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Moderate exercise showed more promising outcome on sleep quality than vigorous exercise. (Full article: The effect of physical activity on sleep quality: a systematic review (tandfonline.com) Wang and Boros 2019)
  5. Exercise can help to connect people with others.
    When people exercise, they often join gyms, sports teams, or other groups. This can help them to meet new people and to build social support networks. Even social interactions with the more peripheral members of our social networks contribute to our well-being. (Trost et al., 2002 Correlates of adults’ participation in physical activity: review and update – PubMed (nih.gov); Sandstorm 2014 Social Interactions and Well-Being: The Surprising Power of Weak Ties – PubMed (nih.gov)
  6. Exercise can help to improve cognitive function.
    When people exercise, their brains release chemicals that can improve memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. (Colcombe et al., 2003 Fitness effects on the cognitive function of older adults: a meta-analytic study – PubMed (nih.gov)
  7. Exercise can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
    Exercise can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer, leading to better wellbeing. (Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, 2018, Scientific Report | health.gov; Thompson et al 2020 Exercise Is Medicine – PubMed (nih.gov)
  8. Exercise can help to extend lifespan.
    Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly tend to live longer than those who do not exercise. (Paffenbarger et al., 1986 Physical activity, all-cause mortality, and longevity of college alumni – PubMed (nih.gov)) The nearly maximum association with lower mortality was achieved by performing ≈150 to 300 min/wk of long-term leisure-time VPA, 300 to 600 min/wk of long-term leisure-time MPA, or an equivalent combination of both. Long-Term Leisure-Time Physical Activity Intensity and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality: A Prospective Cohort of US Adults | Circulation (ahajournals.org)


Further Readings and recommendations:



  • The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt: This book explores the science of happiness and how we can live happier lives.
  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg: This book explains the science of habits and how we can break bad habits and create good ones.
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey: This book outlines seven habits that can help you become more successful in all areas of your life.
  • The Exercise Habit: How to Make Exercise a Part of Your Life: This book by James Clear provides tips and strategies for making exercise a regular part of your life.
  • The Joy of Running: A Runner’s Guide to Finding Happiness and Finding Yourself: This book by Chris McDougall explores the mental and emotional benefits of running.
  • Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain: This book by John Ratey MD explains how exercise can improve our brain function and cognitive abilities.
  • The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage. The book’s author, psychologist Kelly McGonigal, has tips about how to add more movement to your life, and how walking just one more minute a day can have a positive impact on your mental health .

Articles, Podcasts and Blogs:


How Exercise contributes to happiness

Exercise Happiness! Image Source credit: quotesgram.com

If you are a Health Care professional, here are some ways to share the information about exercise and happiness to your patients:
• Talk to them about the benefits of exercise. Explain how exercise can improve their mood, reduce stress, and increase their energy levels.
• Provide them with resources. Give them articles, websites, or books that they can read about the benefits of exercise.
• Encourage them to start slowly. Tell them that they don’t have to start with a lot of exercise, and that even a little bit of exercise is better than none at all.
• Be supportive. Let them know that you’re there to support them and that you believe in them.
• Help them find an activity that they enjoy. There are many different types of exercise, so help them find one that they enjoy and that they’ll stick with.

Here are some additional tips for sharing the information about exercise and happiness to your patients:
• Be patient. It may take some time for your patients to make exercise a regular part of their lives. Be patient and supportive, and encourage them to keep going even when it’s tough.
• Make it fun. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. There are many ways to make exercise fun, so find activities that your patients enjoy.
• Set realistic goals. Don’t expect your patients to go from being inactive to running marathons overnight. Set realistic goals that they can achieve, and gradually increase the intensity of their workouts over time.
• Make it a social activity. Exercising with friends or family can make it more enjoyable and help you stay motivated.
• Find an exercise buddy. Having an exercise buddy can help you stay on track and motivated.
• Reward yourself. When you reach a goal, reward yourself with something special. This will help you stay motivated and on track.

Please share in comments if you have noted a personal benefit of exercising on your moods and wellbeing?

What do you experience? How long does that last? How does it feel to you? What adds to your motivation? What barriers have you faced (and maybe overcome)?

Ayurvedic Guidelines for Daily Routine: Living in Sync with Nature’s intelligence 

Ayurveda recommends a healthy, consistent daily routine (Dinacharya) based on the 3 pillars of health, (including proper digestion and elimination, proper rest and sleep, and moderation/discipline in lifestyle) which is Synched with the cycles of Nature, including the daily circadian rhythm cycle, seasonal cycles or cycles of Aging.

A regular practice like above which is synced with the Intelligence of Nature, is more potent and helpful than medicine, by bringing the body, mind, emotions, and spiritual elements back to balance. It also helps rest the nervous system by decreasing decision fatigue by following a grounding, soothing, healing, personalized routine which is in contrast with present hectic and unsettling lifestyle.

The Ayurvedic routine creates a series of comforting reference points throughout the day which are very reassuring and rejuvenating to the cellular intelligence and the nervous system, a much needed, welcome break.

So, all of us are welcome to start living with some more self-care, filled with love and compassion towards ourselves, as much as we offer it to the outside world.

You can start practicing couple of these tiny habits gradually and make it manageable for yourself, rather than overwhelming. You can pick up the habits which you feel comfortable doing on a regular basis, or just try them for fun.

Stay committed and relaxed, add things realistically, be predictable and well-paced.

Remember to have self-compassion all through the process!

Here are the brief recommendations below:


  • Wake up before Sunrise, which is the perfect time for the nature’s quietude, light and peaceful energies.
  • Eliminate in the morning to help with early detoxification (bowels and urination)
  • Wash face and eyes with a cool splash of water to drive away the remnant drowsiness and induce freshness.
  • Drink a glass of pure warm water with lemon juice on rising to promote detoxification.
  • Sit down to meditate, enjoy the stillness outside and within, say a prayer, or focus on your breath for a few minutes.
  • Be grateful, reflecting on the blessings in your life.


  • Clean tongue by scraping 3-5 times, back to front to help detoxify
  • Oil pulling for 2-5 minutes after or before brushing your teeth. Massage gums.
  • Nasya, lubricate nasal passages, or practice nasal rinsing.
  • Practice Yoga, or Stretch and flex your body, to 50% of your capacity.
  • Self-massage with the right kind of oils, try to massage all body parts
  • Take a nice warm shower to rinse off excess oils, with minimal soap use


  • Eat 3 consistent timed meals a day, or as per your true hunger.
  • Eat foods which are seasonally appropriate and as per your body type and imbalance.
  • Try to include all 6 tastes into your meals
  • Try to minimize snacking in between meals.
  • Eat mindfully, in a pleasant state of mind , with loved ones
  • Eat while sitting comfortably
  • Try to eat when truly hungry
  • Avoid eating when angry or upset
  • Largest meal preferably at noon, medium breakfast and earlier, lighter dinner.


  • Establish a consistent, predictable work and rest schedule.
  • Focus on cleaning and decluttering your work and home environment to facilitate good energetic flow.
  • Develop mutually nurturing relations in your interaction with others during the day
  • Be of service to others when possible.

-Evening and bedtime

  • Allow time for proper rest and winding down as needed.
  • Perform the evening routine of brushing, cleaning face and massaging feet etc.
  • Sit down to meditate, say a prayer, do body scanning, progressive muscle relaxation or focus on your breath for a few minutes.
  • Be grateful, reflecting on the blessings during your day.
  • Try to establish a consistent bedtime, preferably by 10 pm, to honor the cyclical energies of nature.

Here is a list of some great websites related to Food, Water, Environment, Climate, Organic Gardening, Hunger etc.

Please let us know if you need any other weblink added to this list to benefit other people.


Organic Foods

Organic Consumers Association
Organic Farming Research Foundation
Organic Trade Association

Organic Gardening and Organic Seeds

Organic Gardening
Seeds of Change
Victory Seeds
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

Educating Children
Let’s Get Growing! Company Catalogue
The Edible Schoolyard

Community Supported Agriculture
(CSA) and Gardening

American Community Gardening
Local Harvest
Organic Consumers

Food Co-ops
Co-op Directory
Local Harvest
Organic Consumers

Composting and Herb Gardening
Organic Gardening

Vegetarian Resource Group
International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
North American Vegetarian Society
Vegan Fusion

Modern Food Concerns

Food and Water
Safe Tables Our Priority (STOP)
Humane Farming Association
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Pesticide Action Network, North America (PANNA)
Citizens for Health

Water Testing

Watercheck National Testing

Environmental Groups and Initiatives

The Sierra Club
Natural Resource Defense Council
Friends of the Earth
Rainforest Action Network
Worldwatch Institute
Green Restaurant Association

World Hunger Organizations

Food First (Institute for Food
and Development Policy)
Food Not Bombs
The Hunger Project
The Hunger Site