Fitness and Happiness: The Linked Benefits

Fitness and Happiness share important common ground. Both contribute significantly to better overall health, and both are lifelong processes that create lasting change.

On days when you don’t feel happy it’s best if you perform any cardio you enjoy at a heart rate of 50-60% of your heart rate max (HRMax). This is a low-intensity zone that provides primarily metabolic and emotional benefits. It’s good for lowering cholesterol, reducing emotional stress and improving blood pressure.

Focus on breathing in and out through the nose. This technique will allow you to disconnect from your stress. If you listen to music while exercising it should be soothing, not overly excitable or it will be counterproductive and only increase blood pressure.

Heart rate max is calculated by subtracting your age from 220 for men, and 226 for women; then multiply that total by .50 – .60. These numbers will give you the high and low numbers to keep your heart rate at while you exercise.

By performing as little as 10-minutes of resistance or weight training positive mood increases can last up to 12 hours. In part because of the sense of accomplishment that takes place and because of the increase in serotonin levels that occurs from lifting weights.

Something else to consider. As both exercisers and non-exercisers, we sometimes fall into the trap of thinking, “hey I worked out or owe myself a reward or treat for doing something good!” This is a crazy trap because most of us choose foods or items that are counterproductive to our long term goal of better health and better choice making and tend to be of the heavy caloric variety.

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