Endorphins Make You Happy…

“Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” Name that movie.

In my quest for an overall healthy life, to my dismay, sweat needed to play a more active role. Being out of breath and sweaty has never been something that brought me joy. From my minimal experience with sports, to being outside in temperatures over 70 degrees, to playing games that I otherwise enjoyed, as soon as I started sweating, I started complaining.

Not a great attitude to begin with, I will admit. But, after starting a job in healthcare, I knew I couldn’t neglect my physical health. An actual wake up call was a biometric screening through my job (healthcare discounts anyone?). My bloodline possess some high risk factors for heart issues, so I was strongly encouraged to add cardio to my workout. Little did she know that I didn’t have a workout to begin with.

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Seth Macey via Unsplash

With the encouragement of a coworker, I downloaded Couch to 5K. This app, while not for everyone, got me feeling like I had a task  to accomplish. No way I could start running any more than a mile without dying, but this app helped me build up my endurance & build a habit of putting on my sports bra and sneakers once a day.

Getting active (& staying active) has been a challenge for me. Plans come up, days are hot, laundry isn’t done, but I still try to put my feet to the pavement almost every day.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • You don’t need fancy equipment.
    • I tend to use the headphones that I just had lying around & hold my phone when I run. No armband, waistband, or fancy Bluetooth – but you do you.
  • You can always quit.
    • But you’ll feel so much better if you just push through & champion it.
  • Cute athletic clothes help.
    • I get so much more hyped to run now that I don’t have to wear heavy t-shirts and shorts that ride up. Invest in clothes you LIKE that are PRACTICAL.
    • I recommend Old Navy Active shirts/leggings, Nike shorts, & Victoria’s Secret Sports bras. 
  • Find your jam.
    • Some people need hard rock, some like podcasts. Curate a playlist that will push you & make you have fun!
    • Spotify has lots of very specific playlist for running!
  • Take a shower ASAP.
    • Sweat is great, but not great for your skin. Even if it’s just a rinse, your body will thank you by not breaking out.
  • Have patience.
    • Endurance, strength, weight loss, or other changes don’t happen over night. It took me about a month of running every day to noticed changes in my body. Give it time.

Running is not for everyone. I was hesitant to begin, still holding onto the memory of a knee injury that had me wearing an immobilizer for 3 months. That’s not what’s important, your heart is. Whatever you need to do: swim, bike, walk, or use the elliptical- take that 30 minutes/3-5 days a week and get your heart working out.

Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.