Change your outlook – Change your productivity
Post #4 in a Series: Exercise
In his TED Talk, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor identified five research-based practices shown to increase happiness and productivity when built into your daily routine.
Creating Lasting Positive Change
Today, we will focus on exercise. If you would like to revisit the introduction to this series, click here. Use the links in the bulleted list above to access previously discussed elements of change.
It shouldn’t take much to convince you that exercise is good for you. The positive physical and emotional impacts of exercise are well documented. Exercise has become a treatment to many ailments, including depression and anxiety.
Babyak et al. concluded in research released in 2000 that practicing 30 minutes of exercise three times per week provides effective clinical treatment for depression.
Additionally, engaging in exercise tends to cause patients to “adopt exercise as a regular, ongoing life activity.” This is good news for our physical and emotional well-being!
Warning: Exercise has been known to cause health and happiness.
In our 21-day challenge inspired by Shawn Achor’s Ted Talk, we are using the Happiness Tracker to measure increased happiness as measured by the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire. Exercise is one of the five elements proven to change your outlook and change your productivity.
Change your Outlook. Change your Productivity.
In this short clip, Shawn explains the positive impacts of exercise on other aspects of your life.
You are possibly familiar with the immobilizing pain incurred by enacting a sudden intense exercise regimen. The first day you feel great. Look what I did! I’m so amazing! I (mostly) kept up with Jillian Michaels for a 55 minute routine.
The second day you can’t move. What was I thinking? I search for the accessible ramp in the parking lot because it hurts my legs to walk up a curb. A curb!! I practice deep breathing as I shampoo my hair. My poor arm muscles. This is not inspiring. I curse thee, lactic acid!
I know, no pain – no gain. I’m not referring to the “good” aches associated with exercising. You know you challenged yourself because your calves feel a bit tired or your shoulders respond well to a deep stretch. These aches reassure you that you are doing good things for your body.
The threat of the intense mobility limiting “return-to-exercise pain” is enough to cause some to remain sedentary. What if I told you there is a less excruciating way to get back into regular exercise?
Ease into Exercise
I encourage you to embrace an eased start-up. Use the next 21 – 30 days to increase your strength and flexibility with breathing and yoga poses. Your body will accept the running and Bob Harper routines with less resistance if you take the time to prepare your muscles.
Chet Thomas, a certified yoga instructor, has designed a thirty-day challenge for practicing yoga at home. What I like about this series is that on day one, participants practice two poses for one minute. One minute! I dare you to try to convince yourself you don’t have time for yoga. Over the course of the series, pictures, descriptions, and suggested time allotments allow you to slowly build up to more challenging poses. His approach feels very manageable.
Additionally, Allie Flavio has compiled an 18-pose morning yoga sequence intended to set the tone for a balanced, productive day. Through pictures, descriptions, and rebuttals to all of your excuses, Allie explains how easily you can incorporate intentional movement into your morning.
Yoga first – Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels next!
After practicing yoga for a couple of weeks, my body will better adapt to the more intense cardio workouts. Better yet, I will not wake myself during the night because rolling over proved to be painful.
What are you waiting for?
Download your Happiness Tracker.
Take the Happiness Questionnaire.
There’s no wrong time to intentionally strive to live a more healthy and happy life.
Whether you are just joining us, or are on your third re-start, I’m cheering for you! There will be two more posts in this series, each one featuring one of Shawn Achor’s elements proven to change your outlook and your productivity. Look for a post on meditation next. Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter. You will not want to miss a post in this series.
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