So, I was thinking one day … If I didn’t have my body what would I have? NOTHING, I would be dead!
Taking care of our body is essential for happiness from a scientific, spiritual, and practical angle. It amazes me how many people ignore their bodies!
Someone once said, “Treat your body like a Temple” for a reason! I have heard many people say, “I don’t have the money for massage, the gym, organic food, etc.” Well, I was a student for ten years so my bank account has never been high. Yet, when I had money, I invested in my Temple because it is the only temple I will ever have during my entire lifetime. Excuses are excuses. Be proactive with your body, love your body, nurture and protect your body, and it will serve you the best it can.
Exercise is an essential aspect of our self care. Surveys have shown that physically active people feel happier and more satisfied with life. (Biddle, 2000) Dr. Biddle reports that this effect is seen in all age populations, no matter the health status and varying socioeconomic backgrounds. It has also been proven that if you only exercise one time, you will experience an improvement in your mood! So if you implement a regular exercise routine, you will be working toward your sustainable happiness. Over one hundred and fifty studies have concluded that exercise does in fact reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and increases overall happiness!
For my exercise I stand on a whole body vibration machine called Turbosonic for ten minutes four or five times a week. This machine oxygenates my blood, cleans my lymph system, increases my serotonin, tones my muscles and eliminates fat! To learn where a Turbosonic machine is near you, go to http://turbosonicusa.com/index.php. Make sure you visit their research page to see all of the amazing studies that have proved its effectiveness and gained FDA approval.
If you do not have access to a Turbosonic machine, you can stand with your feet about a foot apart and your arms relaxed at each side, then shake your body vigorously for several minutes by pumping your legs up and down. Dr. John Gray, calls this exercise, bounce and shake (2003). It is quick and easy and anyone can do it anywhere at any time! It is good in limited spaces, even airplanes. There really is no excuse how to do one of these exercises whether you start using a Turbosonic or you start bouncing and shaking! Every morning you could stand up and bounce and shake if you wanted to!
Dr. Gray explains that the bounce and shake exercise benefits in four ways:
The increased cellular vibration burns fat, tones muscles, and increases lean body mass.
While bouncing and shaking, you will also flex your spine in coordination with deeper than usual breathing. The rhythmic flexing of the spine increases vitality and stimulates the healthy production of brain chemistry by pumping spinal fluid in and out of the brain.
The increased oxygen from the rhythmic breathing will also stimulate your metabolism to burn fat more efficiently during the day.
The gentle whole-body movement of bounce and shake stimulates the lymphatic system to purify and cleanse the body.
Below are the steps to take in order to do the bounce and shake exercise:
Standing with knees slightly bent, feet comfortably apart, bounce up and down easily without lifting your heels off the ground.
As you bounce, let your arms hang in a relaxed and floppy manner by your side. Shake your hands by your side as you bounce up and down. While you gently bounce and shake, slowly nod your head up and down in a comfortable range of no more than two to four inches. As you nod back and look up, breathe in through your nose to the count of five seconds, and then exhale to the count of five seconds as you lower your heard.
During the first minute, breathe in and out through your nose. During the next minute, breathe in and out through your nose while making a noise originating at the base of your throat. This sound comes from the air flowing through your throat and not your vocal chords. You will sound like you are quietly snoring. During the remaining one to three minutes, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, pucker your lips and blow out as if you were trying to put out a candle two feet in front of you.
Stop bouncing and shaking. While standing in a relaxed position, take a quiet minute simply to feel the tingling in your body. This is best felt while standing straight with arms relaxed by your side and knees slightly bent. Besides the important aspect of activating your lymphatic system, this vibration oxygenates and activates the trillion cells in your body to make you healthy!
Do the bounce and shake and write about how it contributes to your happiness.
If the bounce and shake doesn't seem to work for you, Think about what type of exercise you enjoy doing, whether it is playing sports, going to the gym, swimming, yoga, etc. It is important that we choose an exercise that we enjoy so that it is in line with our sustainable happiness. Write down your exercise of choice and when you plan to perform this exercise in your daily or weekly routine. For instance, three times a week for 45 minutes or a certain amount of hours a day. I recommend starting with an attainable goal.
Just imagine how good you'll feel after you exercise and get started today :-)!
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Dr. Aymee Coget, a widely-known happiness expert, has more than 15 years of experience in positive psychology. Through the Happiness Makeover™, a program developed by Coget, she teaches people how to achieve happiness and handle life's challenges. She also serves as CEO and founder of the American Happiness Association, a science-backed nonprofit designed to educate individuals and organizations about how to be happier, and was nominated for CNN Hero of the Year in 2011.