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Fitness, a Key to Happiness

Mar 7th 2011 at 5:13 PM


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I am almost done with Rhonda Byrne’s book, The Secret. Like most readers I find the book worth reading especially in this world of negativism. I don’t know how the book can help me but I need to learn the art of positive expectations. We all do. Murphy’s Law can be a debilitating force that can offset the strongest positive expectations. And it can happen without any notice. In a nutshell, The Secret is about the law of attraction, a natural law like that of law of gravity, which is unerring, consistent and sure.

Anyway, this is not about what works and what do not. This is about how it affects us, physically and emotionally, when things go right or otherwise. We all know how it feels to be stressed out, don’t we? Our pulse beats like a run-away train, our brains crash, unable to to function as they should. We feel tired, ineffective, totally useless. And we tend to do a lot of things we think can alleviate the problem. Instead, it makes things worse. The bad thing is that it can lead to depression.

Now switch gears and think of those days when you were relaxed, everything in their proper was in order, in their proper perspective; everything was done right. You felt so happy as if you were on top of the world, didn’t you?

Happiness and fitness connection:

That, my friend is the connection between happiness and fitness. You feel fit when you are happy and you are happy when you are fit. Never mind if it is mind game. The feeling is real.

We generally feel happier after a brisk walk, jog, bike of other forms of physical activity. People with better physical appearance exude more self-confidence; a sense of accomplishment; exercise has been shown to improve the sleep patterns of the insomniacs. For an average person, good sleep always results after a good exercise.

Happiness and exercise boost the immune system allowing the release of endorphins, the body’s stress-fighting hormones needed to trigger our natural fight or flight instincts. They cause the production of antibodies, those tiny little proteins produced by our immune system that protects us from antigens, i.e., bacteria, viruses and other unwanted agents that we take in daily from our environment and the food that we eat. Antibodies hunt the antigens, lock into them until our body’s T-cells, or killer cells come in for the kill.

Happiness has been shown to increase our antibodies by as much as 50 percent, exercise by 300 percent. It also lowers the body’s cortisol levels, a hormone that’s released when we are stressed. Too much of it weakens the body’s capability to fight off illnesses.

Happy people are generally more resistant to diseases like the common cold, and heart diseases. They are less like to have depression. On the other hand, those who are always stressed are prone to diabetes, depression and stroke.

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