Monday Motivation: exercise makes you happy!

Last week, while navigating children and luggage towards our departure gate at LAX, I realized that I nothing to read on the plane ride home. Although I had yarn and needles for sock knitting (scroll down to see the yarn…), I was in a reading mood. I dashed into Borders and quickly scanned the bestseller rack for something suitable.

My gaze was immediately drawn to this book;

The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. I particularly liked the sub-title, Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.

The book is autobiographical, and describes the steps taken by the author to become happier in her work, home and relationships. She identifies 12 aspects of her life that she feels would benefit from improvement, tackling one each month and beginning the year with ‘Vitality’. Her reasoning? Having more energy makes it easier to engage in activities that increase happiness. 

But how to become more energetic? Rubin chose to focus on getting more sleep and exercising regularly (along with cleaning out her closets and faking it on days she didn’t feel very energetic!).

“There’s a staggering amount of evidence to show that exercise is good for you. Among other benefits, people who exercise are healthier, think more clearly, sleep better, and have delayed onset of dementia. Regular exercise boosts energy levels; although some people assume that working out is tiring, in fact, it boosts energy, especially in sedentary people…”

You know she’s right! When I’m feeling crabby and grouching at my kids (yes, I do this too) a trip to the gym is the only thing that turns my mood around. My family recognizes this and gladly sends me on my merry way, knowing that I’ll return calmer, happier and more likely to let them stay up past bedtime!

Tell me about your favourite happiness-inducing exercise!

P.S. I liked this book so much, I’ll certainly be writing about it again soon.

P.P.S. I’m extra happy today because children have gone back to school after nearly three weeks off! I know a lot of other moms who are happy about this too!

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on calmyourbeans.

  2. I have read the Happiness Project, too and loved it. It has inspired me to to NOT only TALK about doing the things that I think will make me happy, BUT actually Do them. :)

  3. Read it. Loved it. LOVE GRETCHEN!!!

  4. I do like the clarity of mind exercising gives me. As for happiness… I think it just gives me more energy to sustain my day. lol. Sounds like a book I could use in my collection.

    BTW, I am really considering a Road Trip to LAX. Its Probably just more in theory. But if I did, I just found I could swoop you up for the Fitness & Health Blogger’s conference. You’re w/in my location. ;)

    • You’re driving to FHBC? It’s a 5-hour plane ride from Vancouver so I’ll definitely need to fly; can’t be away from home for than 3-4 days! Will be so fun to meet up though!

  5. My hubster is a morning singer, which always makes me smile inside. As for me, I always feel a boost after a cardio class of any kind. Now as for that 3 week school break your kids have, what is with that?! Wow!

    • Kids had a two week spring break but there was a teacher’s strIke the week before. They are actually pretty happy to go back to school today! And I started cleaning out closets this weekend. THAT makes me happy!

  6. I always was glad when my kids went back to school too. Now that they’re high schoolers, I don’t look forward to it in quite the same way, probably because at this age they aren’t very dependent and I get lots of “me” time anyway.
    I love the 12 months toward happiness.

    • I try hard not to stress about how dependent (and noisy!) they still are. I know that all too soon they’ll be shutting themselves up in their rooms and heading off to university. ‘The days are long, but the years are short’ to quote Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project.

    • I find that exercising puts me not only in a leaslmr pant size, but it also helps my mental head space. Sounds like you have a great plan in place! Perhaps you and Ashley can alternate days. On your off day, she could do whatever exercise, take an unterrupted bath, coffee with a girlfriend, etc. Good luck and enjoy!

  7. Just finished this 2 days ago – planning to post on it too! I agree that it is a MUST-read. The energy chapter was one of my favorites, not only for the exercise push but also for the home/organization, removing clutter advice. It’s SO True. AHhh obsessed.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  1. […] experience a whole host of short term benefits (better sleep, more energy, increased strength, elevated mood, to name but a few), you’re unlikely to notice significant changes to your physique for at […]

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