Tag: happiness

5 Signs You Need a Shakeup to Your Shapeup

5 Signs You Need a Shakeup to Your Shapeup

SONY DSCWhen it comes to exercise, it’s always good to mix it up a bit, but there are also times when your exercise routine may be ready for a more major overhaul. Because exercise is a personal thing, and your workout results (and problems) can only be recognized by you, here are a few things to be on the lookout for to determine if you need a shakeup in your shapeup. No matter if you’re a novice to physical fitness or an expert, here are 5 signs that you need to switch up your exercise regime ASAP! –

  1.  If you’re working out and eating properly, you should be seeing results. If you aren’t seeing anything noticeable in the mirror, or if your clothing sizes haven’t changed (or gotten tighter), it’s likely that you need a new exercise routine. With the right routine, you should be able to watch your body transform, even if it is only a little bit. Inches should be coming off and you should start to see more tone to your body.
  2. If in the beginning you wanted to lose weight and improve your endurance, so you did a lot of cardio exercises, such as running on the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, etc. However, now that you’ve lost weight and built-up your endurance, you want to focus more on gaining muscle, which requires lifting weights. When your fitness goals change, your workout routine should change with them.
  3. Exercising releases hormones within the brain that are supposed to induce a happier mood. If you’re unhappy with your exercise routine, you rush through your exercises, you cannot wait to get out of the gym, or you find yourself losing focus when you work out, you may be bored. A boring workout is never a good one, and it only makes sense to change it. Being unhappy with your workouts means that you aren’t doing exercises that make you feel good. You should be enthused (okay if ‘enthused’ doesn’t quite describe you, let’s just say you shouldn’t dread your workout), and by the end of it all you should be happy with the physical activity that you do.
  4. You could do your workout routine with your eyes closed. You don’t sweat nearly as much as you used to. You don’t have to put forth a lot of effort to complete your workout. When your workout becomes a walk in the park instead of a challenge, it’s definitely time to change things around. You want your workouts to challenge you and to cause you to push yourself to the limit. If you are going to take the time to exercise, you might as well make it count.
  5. Since the day you’ve started working out until now, you’re been doing the same exact exercise. Even though you’re comfortable with this routine, it’s always helpful to switch up your routine at least every couple of weeks. Doing the same workout for months at a time could not only lead to boredom, but your body get used to the workout and you may find that your exercises are now completely and ineffective.
Is Happiness in Your Genes?

Is Happiness in Your Genes?

It’s an unalienable right — the United States Declaration of Independence says so, right up there with life and liberty. Happiness is a complex equation with many variables, but the pursuit of happiness may come easier for some because of a genetic advantage.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Research suggests that people have a genetic predisposition for a certain level of happiness, accounting for around 40 to 50 per cent of those joyful feelings. By studying twins and siblings, researchers concluded that genetically determined personality traits, like being sociable, active, stable, optimistic, hardworking, and conscientious, are closely related to happiness.

It also turns out that being male or female does not have a major role in determining happiness, but ethnicity and cultural differences can play a part.

Because happiness is not a medical condition, it’s not measured by a blood test or electric monitors; it’s measured by asking specific questions designed to asses an individual’s subjective well- being. So the research is based on answers given by the participants about their quality of life, satisfaction with the present, and subjective happiness.

In addition to personality traits, the structure of the brain plays a role in the happiness equation. The brain has billions of neurons (brain cells), and between each one are neurotransmitters — chemical messengers allowing brain cells to talk to each other. A person’s genetic make-up is responsible for the level of transmitters, and since certain neurotransmitters dictate emotions and feelings, they must be present in sufficient amounts for the brain to be chemically happy as a clam. The good news is that these “feel good” transmitters can be balanced out by lifestyle changes such as positive relationships,  a healthy diet and even exercise.

Walking On Sunshine

The Dalai Lama, Aristotle, and Bob Marley are just a few who have written about happiness, and bookstores are loaded with self-help books, but if happiness is genetic, are all those books just a waste of paper, or app space?

Don’t throw out those happy DIY books just yet. It’s the interaction between genetic predispositions and other factors, such as upbringing, life circumstances, income, possessions, and relationships that tells the complete story. And adding purposeful activities, like socializing, doing meaningful work, and exercising round out the happily ever after picture.

So even though individuals may have a unique ‘set point’ for happiness, there are ways to improve upon it. Take a walk and get active, listen to music, meet a friend, do a good deed, live in the moment, and engage in meaningful activities that create joy. Those who wish to sing always find a song (Swedish proverb).

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