TMHS 393: The Extraordinary Link Between Exercise, Joy, And Human Connection - With Guest Dr. Kelly McGonigal

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By Shawn Stevenson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Can you think of a type of movement that brings joy to your life? For some people, this might be a more structured type of exercise like weightlifting or Pilates. For others, it might be something simpler like having a dance party with their kids or walking their dog. Either way, there are profound health-giving benefits that are available to you when you engage in movement that brings you joy.

Although our culture tends to put an emphasis on exercise as a weight-loss tool, its benefits go so much deeper than that. Engaging in a form of exercise that you love can also be a way to manage stress, form a sense of community, connect with nature, and help you identify a sense of purpose. Today we’ve got the very best person in the world to talk about this topic—Dr. Kelly McGonigal.

In her new book, The Joy of Movement, Kelly shares how to fall in love with movement and how to reap its benefits in all areas of your life. If you’ve ever thought of exercise as a chore, you’re going to want to hear why movement can add value, meaning, and connection to your life. This episode is jam-packed with value, so listen in, take good notes, and most importantly—enjoy!

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • The effects that walking 30 minutes per day can have on the immune system.
  • How Kelly became interested in studying the psychology of stress.
  • Kelly’s experience with chronic pain, and how it led her to psychology.
  • What it’s like to deal with an invisible illness.
  • Why how we perceive our stress is so important.
  • What the stress mindset effect is.
  • Common misconceptions about the effects stress has on the human body.
  • How to make stress healthier by fine-tuning your mindset.
  • Why exercise is about so much more than weight loss.
  • How engaging in exercise can change the structure of your brain’s reward system.
  • What the joy gap is.
  • The scientific finding that Kelly considers to be the most interesting of the past decade.
  • How the human brain has evolved to find hard work rewarding.
  • The truth about a runner’s high.
  • How movement brings out the best in humanity.
  • Why exercise can help you experience more meaning in life.
  • The link between endocannabinoids and our ability to experience pleasure.
  • How movement can be biologically helpful for recovering from addiction.

Items mentioned in this episode include:

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