You know how good moving your body is for your physical health. You probably have a vague sense that it’s good for your mental health too. But you likely don’t realize just how powerful movement truly is for your mind, and that it even affects your sense of hope, courage, connection, and identity.
 
My guest today explores these lesser-appreciated impacts of physical activity in her new book, The Joy of Movement. Her name is Kelly McGonigal and she’s a research psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University. Kelly and I begin our discussion with the idea of the runner’s high, and whether you can get it from doing forms of exercise other than running. We then discuss how exercise can become powerfully addictive, and yet be a uniquely healthy form of addiction that improves instead of destroys mental health. We then discuss the way that moving our bodies with others can generate collective joy, as well as a muscular bonding that makes a group feel bigger and stronger. We also get into what elements go into an ideal pump-up song, how physical movement helps create your sense of self, and why exercising in nature seems to amplify all its beneficial effects. We end our conversation with what you can start doing today to get more of the potent benefits of physical movement. 

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Show Highlights

  • The deep connection between mental health and physical movement 
  • How exercise can fight loneliness 
  • What is the runner’s high? 
  • Why does our brain reward us for exercise?
  • Why movement fosters connection with others 
  • What happens when regular exercisers aren’t able to do it as regularly 
  • How exercise makes every pleasurable experience more potent 
  • The unique nature of ultra-runners 
  • The collective joy of exercising in groups 
  • What is “we agency”?
  • Why you shouldn’t necessarily start small when it comes to exercise 
  • What makes for the perfect workout pump-up song
  • Embracing cheesiness 
  • The secret supercharger for your workouts 

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Kelly

Kelly’s website

Kelly on Twitter

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Read the Transcript

Coming soon!

The post Podcast #589: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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