Throughout my life I’ve always struggled with poor decision making and unhealthy habits to cope with depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Rooted in matters I will discuss in future articles and videos. However, there is one thing that I’ve always noticed; My love for basketball. As a child my mom had me in sports up until she was diagnosed with a disease. I was 6 years old playing organized sports and that stopped at about age 8. 

I continued to play basketball recreationally and though I chose to engage in criminal activity as I grew up, basketball was still something that kept me from getting too deep into the streets. As I battled with depression, basketball was always something that instantly increased my mood.

I always thought it was my love for the game of basketball that cheered me up or enabled my happiness. Which in part, it is. But it’s deeper than that. 

It wasn’t until now after doing some research I realized exercise actually makes you happy. I assumed it was a sense of accomplishment but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Exercise has been studied and proven to improve status of health, enable happiness, and decrease the risk of depression. Exercise actually releases chemicals in the body.

Those chemicals would be endorphins, dopamine, serotonin neurotransmitters. These chemicals are related to certain emotions such as pain and depression. In addition, exercise reduces cortisol and adrenaline which promote tension and anxiety. 

There is a reason why exercise becomes a perfect substitute for past addicts. There is a reason why senior citizens still make an effort to exercise. There is a reason why exercise consoled those who were broken-hearted by the one they love.

There is a reason why people with tight and busy schedules still block time for exercise no matter how short it is. Of course, there is a reason why exercise is enough to keep that troubled youth out of trouble. 

That reason being, exercise serves as medicine mentally and physically and assists the individual in self-motivation. So, the next time you’re feeling down, feeling sick, or just have nothing better to do, I encourage to give at least 5 minutes towards some form of physical exercise. You’d be surprised in the positive effects.

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