With a motto like “smile your way fit,” I know you’re not surprised by the fact that I believe in a huge correlation between fitness and happiness. The correlation is two-fold: being fit and feeling good leads to increased happiness, and having a great workout boosts your mood substantially. Fitness and happiness need to go hand in hand. If you can make that happen, you are setting yourself up for a successfully healthy life. We don’t have control over everything, but when you control what you can, it is you being your best and that leads to happiness and feelings of accomplishment and worth as well.
For proof on “all the ways exercise makes us happier,” check this out: HAPPINESS INFOGRAPHIC
Exercise goes far above the ability to boost your mood; fitness and physical activity actually reduce stress, depression and anxiety to name a few. The fact that there is a proven remedy to break down these mental and physical barriers and lead to happiness (and isn’t medication) is incredible.
So how do you START and STICK TO a healthy exercise routine??
The most important step is to find something you enjoy doing! This is crucial to sticking with it and to ultimately gaining these benefits. If you hate exercise and just never stick with it because you can’t find the joy in trudging away on the cardio machines and going through the weight machines (for example), you have to figure out what you DO enjoy and you’ll not only be more likely to stick with it, but also to feel the happiness exercise provides! There are tons of options out there for everyone to find something they like – find a group fitness class you love, take up a sport (on a team or take lessons), find a walking/running group, get outside, and get in the groove by listening to music you love and makes you happy.
Once you find something you enjoy, you’re set as long as you instill a couple rules for yourself:
- When you’re having a bad day, are in a bad mood, or just don’t “feel” like exercising, you HAVE to remind yourself of the feeling you have AFTER your workout is done. That is a feeling that will keep you motivated. The endorphins, the high, the feeling of accomplishment. This is one of the reasons it is hard to begin a habit of working out – we forget or don’t know how awesome it feels to complete a great workout. If we can remind ourselves of this and say “JUST DO IT,” we will have an easier time creating a new habit, and sticking to it.
- Keep it fresh. Stay aware of how you feel during and after your workout. If you’re starting to get bored or not feel as excited, you may want to think about switching it up a little.
- Find an accountability partner or group. When people know you’re working towards goals you’ve set for yourself, you are more likely to stick to them. We don’t want to fail ourselves, much less anyone else.
In a world where we absolutely don’t have control over everything… why not control one thing you can? Your happiness! Being healthy can be a huge help in this. Start now. Don’t wait.
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