Catching fear in a bottle
Being scared is enjoyable when it represents just a quick minor physiological deviation from your normal state. When it goes on too long, it becomes disturbing.
It is similar factors that make interpersonal play enjoyable: just the right amount of uncertainty and surprise. Coincidentally, it is also the ingredients of a successful joke.
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Fear protects organisms against a perceived threat to their integrity or existence. Fear can be as simple as moving away from a negative stimulus, or as complex as existential anxi...
The main factor in how we experience fear has to do with the context.
When the "thinking" part of the brain gives feedback to the "emotional" brain, and we know it isn't really a threat, we can quickly shift from fear to enjoyment or excitement, such as in a haunted house during Halloween season. However, if you were walking in a dark alley at night and a stranger started following you, both your emotional and thinking areas of the brain would agree that the situation is dangerous and that it's time to escape.
The fear reaction starts in the brain's amygdala region and spreads through the body to prepare the body for the best defense or flight reaction. Fear also triggers the release of stress hormones and the sympathetic nervous system.
During a dangerous situation, the brain becomes hyperalert, pupils dilate, the bronchi dilate, breathing accelerates, heart rate and blood pressure rise, blood flow and a stream of glucose to the skeletal muscles increase, and organs not vital in survival slow down, such as the gastrointestinal system.
The calories we burn every day include not only movement but all the energy needed to run the thousands of functions that keep us alive.
Exercise is like a wonder drug for many health outcomes: reducing blood pressure, reduces the risk of diabetes of heart diseases and slows developing cognitive impairment from Alzheimer's and dementia.
But as for losing weight, it helps more in weight maintenance than in losing the actual weight.
Exercise alone has a modest contribution to weight loss. But when you alter one component, cutting the number of calories you eat in a day to lose weight, doing more exercise than usual, this sets off a cascade of changes in the body that affect how many calories you use up and, in turn, your bodyweight.