“PLEASE get ready for the morning exercise,” the student’s sleepy voice would say through the gymnasium’s speakers. My schoolmates and I would assemble at the gym every morning at 7.30 to sing the national anthem and morning prayers, and do the morning exercise.
Why, we would silently wail, why do we have to do this so early in the morning? My exercise grunts were just met by stern glares from the teachers. Perhaps if Elle Woods of “Legally Blonde” had been my classmate, I would have better appreciated that “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”
As I aged though, I did learn the value of exercise. In the beginning, it was for vanity reasons. My metabolism was slowing down, and I had to stay fit to look fit. And then there was the health reason. I knew my sedentary lifestyle was taking a toll on my health, so I hit the gym. My friends would also exercise to tone their bodies, make new friends at fitness centers, lose weight. Valid motivations. But have you ever heard of anyone saying, “I exercise to be happy”?
Think about it. After a workout, you feel a certain high. I can describe it as a mix of relief (”Good thing I got my butt off the computer chair.”) and pride (”Good thing I got my butt off the computer chair!”). There’s that emotional boost, that spark of happiness brought about by a job well done and I guess, endorphins.
Perhaps that’s a good push to start exercising again. We know we’ll feel better after a workout. So why not use happiness as your end goal? When you see you’re ten pounds less, you’re happy. When your skin glows after a workout, you’re happy. When you’re able to run an extra lap, you’re happy. Happy, happy, happy.
Why not kick the morning off with some happy movements, and turn those exercise grunts into grins? Get that butt off your chair and move to be happy!