Happy Hints

Exercise Your Way to... Health Fitness and Happiness

By Nyomi Graef

For some of us exercise is a chore, for others it’s a joy. We all know exercise is good for us, but most of us don’t do enough for good health. Doctors estimate that between 65% and 85% of the world’s population fail to exercise enough.

There are plenty of excuses not to exercise, the most common being “I don’t have time”. Make time. If we can do non-essential things, we can exercise. It’s vital for health, fitness and happiness.

The benefits are worth it. Professor Mario Maranhao, president of the World Heart Federation said, “Moderate exercise, such as a brisk walk for 30 minutes most days, helps control weight, cuts stress, anxiety and depression.”

In fact studies show that jogging for 30 minutes three times a week can be as good as psychotherapy in treating depression; and there’s more good news. If jogging isn’t for you, any type of exercise can reduce depressive symptoms.

For health and happiness we need exercise as much as we need to sleep, breathe and eat.

How can exercise enhance health, happiness and fitness?

We can gain a tremendous number of benefits from exercise. Exercise can:

Still don’t feel like exercising? Here’s some food for thought: the World Heart Federation has warned that failure to exercise is as bad for health as smoking a packet of cigarettes every day!

How much exercise do we need to beat depression?

The Mayo Clinic in U.S.A. says research suggests that to significantly improve depression symptoms, people might need to do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day at least three to five days a week. Less exercise, as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time, can improve mood in the short term. Dr. Vickers-Douglas says, “Small bouts of exercise may be a great way to get started if it’s initially too hard to do more.”

Remember, we need to continue exercising to reap the benefits.
If we can, for extra health benefits also do some vigorous exercise a few times a week.

Experts recommend that children do at least an hour of moderate exercise everyday for good health.

What type of exercise is best for extra happiness?

The American Psychological Association has highlighted key results of research that analyzed 80 studies of exercise and depression. The research team concluded that although walking and jogging were the most frequent forms of exercise researched, all types of exercise reduced depression to some degree. The longer the exercise program and the more exercise sessions, the greater the decrease in depression.

What are some tips to enjoy exercise?

Obviously if exercise is fun you are likely to continue doing it; if it’s not fun you will probably stop. How can you enjoy exercise more? Try these tips.

Regular exercise is vital. Just half an hour of moderate exercise on most days of the week can make a big difference to your health, happiness and fitness.

Enjoy exercise and make it part of your lifestyle today!