Improve happiness with this five-minute trick

As the weather gets cooler, we shared some great tips to keep your favourite summer sports from becoming distant memories. But if we’re honest, the temperature drop is also making it harder for us to stick to a schedule, and we know that translates into more opportunities to skip out on a workout.

Unfortunately, the changing of the seasons is as Canadian as maple syrup and ice hockey, and we can’t avoid winter. But, I want to remind you of a very important reason that you shouldn’t skip your walk/run/gym/sports game—your happiness.

This is especially true as the days get shorter and the winter blues weigh heavily on your spirit. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but getting active boosts your endorphins, or the “feel good” hormones in your body. Doing double duty, getting active also decreases your stress, anxiety, anger and generally helps you better cope with the challenges of everyday life.

The awesome part of this is that it’s true for everyone. Absolutely everyone!

The more active you are, the happier you are likely to be.

Getting active is important for children and teens as they learn, grow and develop. It’s important for students as they work through midterms, essays, and final exams. It’s important for adults dealing with work-related stress, family, and households.

It’s important for older adults as their lives change and they adapt to getting older.

The more active you are, the happier you are likely to be. And the best part? The intensity of your activity, or type of activity doesn’t matter significantly. It just matters that you’re active. In general, you can do anything as long as it gets you huffing and puffing.

Yes, there are times when it’s hard to start, and excuses are readily available:

  • It’s cold out.
  • You’re tired.
  • Your kids are screaming.
  • You’re busy.
  • You’re stressed.

And to combat your inner excuse-monster, I’d like to share my five-minute trick. I just put some workout clothes on—no matter what I’m thinking of doing, even if it’s taking Roxy the dog for a walk—and promise myself to get active for at least five minutes.  I give myself full permission to quit five minutes in if I am hating it, and then I usually end up making it to at least 20 minutes of activity, or I don’t want to stop! After that, I’m usually riding high on pride from doing something and my stress is at least somewhat, if not totally, diminished.

Now there’s no copyright on my five-minute trick, so feel free to take it and run with it!