Saturday, December 11, 2010
All Day Happiness
Here is the latest Get Fit email from Dr. Jacobs.
Spend 20 easy minutes doing this and you could help guarantee a good mood for 12 hours: What is it? Walking?
That's what a recent study revealed. A short, moderately paced workout produced feel-good brain chemicals that lasted up to 12 hours afterward.
Step Up to Happy
In the study, college students either rested quietly for 20 minutes or cycled on a stationary bike for the same amount of time. And the cyclers weren't even really pushing it. They merely exercised at a mild to moderate pace (60 percent of maximum heart rate). Both groups reported lower levels of negative emotions -- like anger, depression, fatigue, and tension -- immediately after the experiment as well as 2 hours later. But only the cyclers continued to enjoy their happier mindset a full 12 hours after the workout session.
Yep, it all boils down to those mood-enhancing brain chemicals that exercise is so good at producing. Here's the catch, though: For an ongoing effect on your temperament, you need to exercise all or most days of the week -- not just once in a while. So lace up those walking shoes. It's only 20 minutes out of your day, right? And here are some ways to help those 20 minutes fly by:
• Use the buddy system. Accountability is a strong motivator. Find someone who can encourage you!
• Picture yourself breezing through it. Mentally imagine yourself exercising and completing. Start when you are lacing your shoes.
• Wind down first. Taking time to calm yourself and prepare for exercise is an effective way to enjoy the experience even more!