If the word ‘exercise’ conjures up dark images in your mind of panting, gasping or exasperation, mixed with an accompanying groan, sigh and a side of shame, then you’re doing it all wrong, my friend. 

Albeit silly and a touch frivolous, imagine instead the endorphins that release inside you when you exercise as brightly coloured yellow, orange or green cartoon bubbles, whizzing around inside your body giving you energy, pizazz and making you happy.

The word exercise doesn’t seem all that evil now, does it? Once you’ve pushed past the mental barrier, you’ll understand the feeling of the coloured bubbles well (and thus there is a method to such madness).

Exercise has been proven time and time again to improve health and physical fitness, and according to Time Magazine it also plays a role in decreasing depression, reducing stress, lifting mood, and increasing energy.

When we exercise, the brain produces endorphins that make us feel good – they are the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals. They bring with them a feeling of wellbeing, positivity and calmness. When training on a regular basis, endorphins can have a very positive, natural effect on mood; the way we handle anxiety and the way stress effects us.

If you team that up with exercise being a great outlet for any frustrations, daily annoyances and everyday concerns, it makes sense that training has a positive effect on mind and mood.

 As much as it might be the last thing you want to do, the next time you feel that niggling sense of stress, tiredness or downheartedness, instead of ripping open that packet of chips or cracking a can of beer, go for a walk, a run or complete a quick workout and tell us how you felt afterwards – we bet you’ll feel a million bucks.

For an alternative way to improve your mood; check out these 16 trivial GIFs to relieve your workout guilt. 

12 easy yoga poses that change everything 10 ways to burn calories without knowing it 12 easy ways to get more incidental exercise