I want to begin this post by asking you the question which is first and foremost the most important question of them all. What makes you happy? I want to challenge your perception with this famous quote I came across 3 years ago by John Lennon…
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down HAPPY. They told me that I didn’t
understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life.”
We all know that it’s challenging to do the things we love and stay motivated. Every day the decisions and choices we make affect our daily lives. These actions have a positive or negative impact on the energy we put out in the universe and our mood. Our decisions all have an impact on achieving the goals we want. It’s all about enabling you to make the rights ones. Every week I hear… “I’m out of shape”, “I hate to exercise” “I’m injured”, “I don’t have the time to exercise” and so on. When we think about exercise, our perception varies between each individual. The one commonality among us is that we are designed to move.
The human body is an absolutely a beautiful machine! It would be a tragedy to not make the most of it, agree? By movement, I mean any type of activity that is not only physically challenging, but mentally challenging as well. You cannot have one without the other. One way to maximize this function is by moving on a daily basis. In reality we only need a small amount of physical activity daily to function properly. Exercise at the cellular level is good stress. This can be anything from weight training, walking, bike riding, swimming, and yes, even gardening. Maybe you can even try an amazing training session at Gravity + Oxygen Fitness (insert shameless plug ☺).
Exercise has many benefits: Here are Just a Few
1) Release of the “happiness” chemical into your brain: Dopamine is released which is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in the brain that’s necessary for feelings of pleasure and happiness.
2) Stress relief: Why do you some people become addicted to exercise/ gym rats? Exercise is a healthy low-level form of stress that raises your heart rate and triggers a burst of hormonal changes. This hormonal change helps to regulate not only body fat but also allow you to better handle all of life’s stressors.
3) Proven to boost your confidence: Beach body here I come! Confidence is the biggest factor in how we present and conduct ourselves. Your self-confidence allows you to become more efficient and productive in whatever you do. Confident people get more done and have better feelings of self- efficacy.
4) Energy Boost: Mitochondria are the tiny “power plants” in our cells. We excite those little bad a$$es through movement.
5) Slows down the aging process: Studies have found that weight-bearing exercises help to prevent common geriatric conditions such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia, which lead to orthopedic injuries later in life.
6) Weight loss and lower the risk of diseases: Exercising helps maintain a healthy weight and decreases a person's risk of developing high cholesterol and heart disease.
Ok, so you get it. Exercise is great for you, but do you enjoy it? Thousands of people avoid the gym and exercise in general because of two reasons: lack of knowledge of what to do and the lack of motivation to do it. You don’t have to feel like you have to “keep up with the Joneses” in the gym. Instead find the activities you enjoy and do them. Everyday. That is the great thing about exercise, there is a copious amount to choose from that will keep you busy.
Let’s revert back to the question at the top of the page. “What make you happy?” You internally know what’s best for you, as you are the keeper of your own destiny. Living an active and healthy lifestyle means finding a way to blend exercise and movement with the activities that bring you joy. Every obstacle and new challenge you face will promote a sense of well-being and achievement in your daily routine.
Now that you have thought about what makes you happy. A plan of attack is in order. Consistency is a key component in your short and long term goals. A structure to keep you consistent to achieve your goals is called the S.M.A.R.T. Principle. This method can be applied to anything you want to accomplish. Here are some basic questions to ask yourself. You are more than welcomed to add to the list.
Specific: What makes you happy? What do I want to accomplish?
Measurable: Am I doing this consistently? How can I measure my progress?
Attainable: Is your goal realistic?
Relevant: What does this goal really mean to you? How does it impact and motivate you?
Time: What is my time frame? Am I accountable for my actions?
Now, make a strategic plan for yourself and remember: you don’t have to start with something big. Instead start with what feels good. That’s the best recipe for success!
Success is a daily practice. Live life to the fullest and have fun!! Remember people don’t lack strength they lack will.
Matthew Close is a Fitness & Golf Performance Pro at Gravity + Oxygen Fitness in Boca Raton, FL. Matt takes a holistic approach towards finding success for clients and values the connection that comes as a trainer. When he's not changing lives or improving clients performance on the course you can probably find Matt shirtless handstanding on the beach.
Connect with him on Facebook or at Matthew@gravityandoxygen.com