Catalyzing Happiness: Putting The Fun Into Fitness
“I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.” – Marsha Doble
On some level, we all know that when we exercise, we feel happier.
Yet, making that first move to get off the coach, to put on the running shoes, or to roll-out the yoga mat – can sometimes take super-human effort.
The good news is that the reward for making such a herculean effort is just as huge!
Making the case for a happiness/fitness connection is Professor Mario Maranhao, former president of the World Heart Federation who writes, “Moderate exercise, such as a brisk walk for 30 minutes most days, helps control weight, cuts stress, anxiety and depression.”
And only 10 to 15 minutes of exercise at a time can improve mood in the short term.
The American Psychological Association analyzed 80 studies of exercise and depression and concluded that all types of exercise reduced depression to some degree. The Mayo Clinic concurs stating that to significantly improve depression symptoms people might need to do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day at least three to five days a week.
Facts are one thing; fun is something entirely different. So, add a ton of fun into your fitness program to make it more sustainable with these inspirations:
- Change up your fitness routine to include a variety of activities throughout the week. Here’s a list of various activities to choose from.
- Try a crazy new exercise class, like Tai Chi or Zumba!
- Create fun exercise challenges with a friend– whoever wins gets treated to an after-fitness smoothie.
- Music lifts the soul, so be sure to work-out to your favorite tunes.
If you enjoy being social, create your own exercise/networking group to meet new people and strengthen the bonds of friendship with those you already know.
Each time you exercise, set a personal intention for what you want to achieve as a result of making the effort. At the end of your activity, check in with yourself to acknowledge and celebrate what you achieved. This can be as simple as “today I’m walking to the coffee shop,” or “I want to swim just an extra 5 minutes.”
If you have a fitness activity that catalyzes your happiness, take a moment now to share your experience by adding a comment. You may be the inspiration for someone else’s happiness!