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4 Reasons Why A 30-Minute Exercise Makes You Happier

4 Reasons Why A 30-Minute Exercise Makes You Happier

On the face of it, the benefits of regular exercise may seem fairly obvious.

To the untrained eye, regular cardiovascular exercise helps to build muscle mass and develop greater levels of physical stamina. It also contributes to a more active lifestyle, while increasing your physical capabilities even as you advance in age.

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But regular exercise achieves far more than this, it also has a considerable impact on your mental well being. The connection between physical and mental health is far from clear, especially for individuals who have recently begun to exercise regularly.

In terms of a scientific explanation, it is important to remember that exercise is registered as a moment of stress in the human brain. To protect against this, the brain releases a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), which serves as a reset switch and triggers feelings of serenity and contentedness. Simultaneously, the brain also releases endorphins, which also help to combat stress by minimizing the physical discomfort caused by exercise and eventually creating a euphoric sensation.

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So how does this translate in the typical human mind? Consider the following: 

An Improved Mood and Mental Outlook

After exercise, one of the first things you will notice is an improved mental outlook. As the brain releases numerous chemicals to alleviate the symptoms of stress and physical pain, you will begin to benefit from enhanced mood levels and a more positive perspective on life. As a consequence of this, you will feel better equipped to take on challenges and solve problems, while finding it far easier to handle stressful circumstances and unforeseen setbacks.

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Increased Energy and Physical Output

Lethargy is a physical trait commonly associated with depression, which is why inactivity often exacerbates this mental condition. One of the most obvious benefits of regular exercise is that it leads to increased energy levels, meaning that you have greater stamina and find it easier to complete daily tasks at work and at home. With a productive day behind you, it is also more likely that you will benefit from a genuine sense of accomplishment and contentedness.

A Healthier BMI and Body Image

Perhaps the most widely recognized physical benefit of regular exercise is controlled weight loss, which in turn has a direct impact on our appearance and levels of body confidence. With a regular exercise regime burning calories and creating a more streamlined figure, you will begin to benefit from improved self-confidence and inflated levels of self-esteem. The impact of this should not be underestimated, as those with a positive body image are more likely to live a happy and satisfied life.

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 A Greater Resistance to Disease and Illness

As you grow older, research suggests that you are more likely to develop conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. While this may be partially due to your age, however, your level of physical fitness is a far more influential factor in determining your condition as you grow older. In fact, regular exercise boosts your levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which build good cholesterol and reduces the presence of unhealthy triglycerides. These factors will help to combat the threat of disease, which in turn will you to maintain an active, busy and happy lifestyle.

The Last Word

Regardless of the science behind it, regular exercise has numerous benefits with regards to our mental health and outlook. Simply by committing to undertake 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every single day, you can take steps towards enjoying a more active lifestyle that improves your levels of self-esteem, happiness and physical energy.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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