Another important contribution that exercise can make to the weight-loss process resides in its unique ability to alter mood. Depression, boredom, fatigue, and stress are very common complaints of Americans. Moreover, such complaints are quite prevalent among those who are overweight.
Mood swings can be problematic for anyone. Some people eat for the express purpose of filling an emotional void, or to ward off feelings of loneliness, boredom, or depression. It isn’t hard at all to see how so many people with emotional disorders end up becoming compulsive overeaters. In effect, they use food to alter their mood, much like those who are addicted to mind-altering chemicals.
Exercise, in contrast, provides a calorie-free high that dependably helps us manage our moods and our weight. The results of research studies undertaken on a nationwide scale have shown that adults who are physically inactive are at much greater risk of feeling the effects of mood than those who regularly engage in physical activity.
Most individuals report that they experience an overall sense of wellness or feel energized following vigorous aerobic exercise. Countless studies show that depression, anxiety, and mood state are favorably affected by regular exercise, which can also help improve a person’s self-esteem.