In her book, The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin sets out a happiness manifesto that lists 17 “splendid truths” about happiness—and truly about life. Number five on the list? “Your body matters.”
In other words, if your body doesn’t feel good, it’s much more challenging to be happy.
Overall, the recipe for a good-feeling body is pretty simple—think mostly positive anabolic thoughts (about your life and body), eat foods high in anabolic energy, drink plenty of water, move your body regularly, and get adequate sleep. Simple, perhaps, but not always easy.
One of those that is challenging for a lot of people is moving your body regularly. Rubin lists “Nine tips to stick to a schedule of regular exercise” that I thought were worth sharing.
1. Always exercise on Mondays.
2. Never skip exercising for two days in a row.
3. Don’t link exercise to weight loss. Exercise for sanity not vanity.
4. Give yourself credit for the smallest effort.
(This is a tip that I particularly emphasis with my clients when they are getting started with exercise. Park at the far end of the lot and walk? Count it! Vacuum with vigor so you broke a sweat? Count it! Take the stairs instead of the elevator? Count it! Those wins add up fast and build momentum towards doing more and more.)
5. Think about context. Do you hate the loud music in your gym? Re-think your choices.
6. Exercise frequently. If you you’re staying in shape by playing pick-up basketball, you should be playing four to five times a week.
7. If you don’t have time to exercise and take a shower, find exercise where you don’t need to shower afterward.
8. Spend money to make exercising more pleasant. Exercise is a high life priority, so this is the place to splurge a bit if that helps.
9. Remember: belonging to a gym doesn’t mean you go to the gym, and just because you go to the gym, and just because you were in shape in college doesn’t mean you’re in shape now.
All of these are wonderful and absolutely right on, but I would add two more.
10. Let go of the words “exercise” or “working out” if they have negative connotations for you. Instead, move your body with intensity.
11. Pick a way to move your body that you enjoy. The best exercise is the one you enjoy enough to do consistently.
Just consistently making those small decisions to eat healthy foods and move your body pays off so much—to your health and happiness. What can you do today to act in accordance with the “splendid truth” that your body matters?
Together we can do it!