Yesterday’s task for the 31 Days To Happier You Challenge was to sit back and relax. I hope you are well rested because today we are going to jump back into action. Today we are going to get up and move!
You are probably aware that exercising releases endorphins and endorphins make you feel happy. Sounds simple, right? Not exactly. The relationship between exercise and happiness is a bit more complicated than that.
Your Brain and Exercise
The part about endorphins being released is correct. When you exercise endorphins are released to fight stress and minimize the pain and discomfort of exercising. But endorphins aren’t the only thing being released when you exercise. You also release a protein (BDNF) that helps protect and repair. This protein acts as a switch that helps you feel revived and eventually happy after exercising.
How Much Is Enough
Now you make be wondering how much you need to exercise to get the happiness effect. Don’t worry it’s not one of those 10,000 hour things. Surprisingly, the answer is just 20 minutes. You can get the maximum happiness benefit (along with some other awesome health benefits) in just 20 minutes.
Develop A Habit
Daily exercise is a foundational or “keystone” habit. Essentially that means the habit of exercise can help you with other good habits, other happy making habits even. Read this if you need some help getting back into a workout routine.
To do: Get moving even it is just a little bit. Can’t fit in 20 minutes of workout time? That’s okay. If you can start your exercise habit with only ten minutes that it better than nothing. You can slowly move up to 20 minutes if you need.