These are simple events in your life that can make you happy right away. You get motivated to act if there’s an immediate reward such as giving time to clean your house so you can host a dinner to spend time with your loved ones or making efforts to dress up so you have a date night at your favorite restaurant with your husband.
Exercise can also give your body, mind and soul instant and long-term rewards. You will be amazed on what movement can do to bring happiness to your day. You just need to start with as little as 10 minutes of your day to move so you can experience a whole new way of embracing happiness.
Don’t worry too much about the pain the you can get from using your muscles. Think positive and be open to changes. As long as you do everything gradually, safely and moderately, then you will experience the following:
Knowing that you are doing something good for yourself
Giving your self some love by spending a part of your day for movement can make you feel good. Even a short 10-15 minute workout can remind yourself with your commitment to a better health and active lifestyle.
How to create your exercise “me time”
- Schedule your best time for movement. You can commit to any form of physical activity to as little as 10 minutes initially, which can progress to a longer duration and eventually become a lifelong habit.
- Accept that your body will adjust and can feel a slight discomfort depending on your level of exertion. Don’t think of vigorous formal workouts for now. I highly recommend brisk walking as a good start or online walking workouts that you can find online for free. Supplement cardio workouts with basic resistance training (https://lifestyle.inquirer.net/410229/the-most-effective-strength-exercises-you-can-do-in-10-minutes/).
Feeling the effect of happy hormones while you release the stress away
Numerous studies about exercise and happiness show the effects of happy hormones in managing stress, anxiety and depression. Using your energy to punch, jump, kick, push, lift, pull, dance or run can give you an amazing release. I now commit to doing 2-3 short outdoor runs a week to release my stress after a full day of work – the feeling of happiness during and after the run is always indescribable!
How to release the stress away while exercising
- Do exercises that match your personality. Go for yoga for Pilates if you want a more mindful type of exercise. If you want intense workouts, explore boxing, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or running, circuit training.
- Listen to your favorite music while working out. A 2019 study published in Psychological Bulletin (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337829751_Effects_of_Music_in_Exercise_and_Sport_A_Meta-Analytic_Review) shows that music can contribute to one’s positive emotions and exercise performance.
- Choose a coach that can encourage you to push and express yourself by giving your best efforts during a workout.
- Feel how your body moves while you breath and how you release the negative energy from the inside.
Discovering your physical strengths and potential
Exercise can improve your confidence, regardless of your body size and shape. You don’t need to wait for months to see progress. Small improvements like doing more push-up repetitions now can make you happy and can motivate you to stick to your new lifestyle. Accept your weaknesses. Keep in mind that happiness is realized once you start seeing changes.
How to recognize your strengths
- Always recall how you started (your baseline fitness level) and what improvements you are experiencing right now – how you can breathe easily while moving, how you can do a full-range squat or how you can run faster.
- Be motivated by your strengths (endurance, strength, balance, coordination, core control and flexibility) and feel how your body responds to your current exercise program. Observe if your unique body (https://lifestyle.inquirer.net/403563/can-you-still-reshape-your-body-the-most-effective-exercises-for-your-unique-body-type/) responds more to strength or endurance-based exercise, or a balance mix of both.
- Visualize your potential by considering other aspects in your exercise that can still be achieved if you remain consistent in your habits.
Building your mental toughness
Exercise can help clear your mind from worries and negativities, so you can focus on the more important things in your life such as health, relationships, spirituality and productivity. The discipline and resiliency (ability to face and bounce back from tough challenges in life) you can get from exercise can create positive feelings, knowing that you are more in control of your life.
How to improve mental toughness through exercise
- Try to organize your thoughts and be more creative in solving problems especially when you are exercising alone.
- Always remind yourself of your health goals while exercising, so your control over eating is stronger right after a workout.
- Change your perspective and embrace positivity so you can effectively deal with your issues and move on with your life.
Sharing your feelings with others through movement
Exercise is a fun way to connect with others because you enjoy your time by doing the things that you really love. You can share something about yourself, your strengths and emotions through movement.
How to express yourself through exercising with others
Getting the right dose of challenge that can match your abilities
Successfully surpassing a challenge and taking it to the next level can make you happy. Exercise can give color to your life by stimulating your senses as you conquer a load or task that is just right for the current strengths and skill sets that you have. Then you will be more motivated to improve and excel so you can beat the next challenge.
How to get a good challenge from exercise
- Light and easy exercises can bore you, but extremely intense workouts might shock your body. Choose physical activities that can match your fitness level and exercise preference.
- Explore other types of workout every once in a while that can stimulate your interest and motivation. I would sometimes join various classes of other instructors to challenge my strength and endurance.
- Challenge yourself to be at your fittest, regardless of age, gender and past exercise experience. Set realistic goals for yourself and try your best to achieve the tasks so you can get the desired results.
Appreciating your freedom to move so you can live life to the fullest
Realizing that you have the freedom, time, energy and means to improve your health can give you happiness. You can appreciate life more with movement, fully experiencing that you have the physical abilities to so something good for your health and well-being so you can pursue your passion and purpose in life.
How to fully appreciate your freedom to move
- Replace 30 to 60 minutes your sedentary time (lying down and doing nothing or eating out of boredom) with something productive and active like exercising.
- Get a journal and write down your thoughts about the benefits that you can get from moving (better mood, sharper mind, fitter body, improved health and healthier mindset) versus what you can get from just staying in the couch.
- Be mindful of your body when exercising – the way you move, how you breathe, how much you sweat and how you fully activate your muscles. You can experience joy just by appreciating your opportunity to move and breathe because this can really make you feel so alive.
Email the author at [email protected] or follow/message her on Instagram @mitchfelipemendoza