Day 8: Exercise Makes You Happy!

Exercise makes me happyHey Crew, it’s Monday and we all know the saying…never miss a Monday!

We know exercise is good for us. It keeps our weight in check, makes us stronger, and keeps us feeling youthful.

But did you know that exercise can also make you a happier person? It’s true!

When you work out and stay active on a regular basis, it’s not just a coincidence that you feel less stressed out, less anxious, and generally happier.

Here are 6 reasons why exercising makes us happy:

1. It releases happy chemicals into your brain. Dopamine, a chemical that plays a role in happiness, is a neurotransmitter in the brain that’s necessary for feelings of pleasure and happiness. The best way to increase your brain’s dopamine production? Exercise. So run, lift, jump, play…and get happy.

2. It makes you less stressed out. Working out eases stress by helping you sweat out the day’s worries and regular exercise helps you become less stressed out in the long term as well. Raising your heart rate and triggering a burst of hormonal changes is a low level form of stress. When you subject yourself to the stress of exercise enough, your body will start to get better at handling the rest of life’s stressors. Less stress equals a happier, healthier life. 🙂

3. It energizes you. You no doubt have days when you just feel too tired to exercise. But no matter how exhausted you are from daily life, do your best to muster up all the willpower you have and work out. More likely than not, you’ll feel more energized after your workout than you did before it. And more energy equals greater happiness.

4. It boosts your confidence. When you don’t feel good about how you look, it’s easy to have low self-esteem. When you start to exercise and see your body transform, that can quickly change. Exercise will help you like how you look and make you feel stronger, more independent, and more confident. There’s nothing like a boost in confidence to increase overall happiness.

5. It eases anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety, exercise may be a simple cure. Recent studies on the effects of exercise show that in people suffering from anxiety, the immediate mood boost from exercise is followed by longer-term relief, similar to that offered by meditation and talk therapy. Next time you’re feeling anxious, try a hard workout. You’ll feel happier for days on end!

6. It fights insomnia. Regular exercise has been shown to improve sleeping problems of insomniacs and people with sleeping disorders. Regular exercise significantly improve your sleep quality and give you that pep that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning and DO things. That equals greater happiness, every time!

What are you waiting for? Get up, exercise, and be happy!  You’ll feel more confident, energized, and calm. You’ll be a healthier and happier person for life!

Day 8 exercises: 2 sets of 10

  • Jumping Jacks (50 2X)
  • Walking Push Ups
  • Forearm Plank Jacks
  • Inchworm with Shoulder Taps
  • Plank Challenge Day 8 – Nail the Basics (:45 3X)

Nail the basics: This plank includes several moves. See the list below and move through each step for :45. Repeat three times.

  1. Start in a forearm plank.
  2. Do two knee taps, one with each knee.
  3. Transition to a high plank.
  4. Tap each hand to its opposite shoulder.
  5. Return to forearm plank.

Here’s a quick video to show you the steps.

Bonus: Ab & Squat Challenge Day 8

  • 30 Sit Ups
  • 40 Crunches
  • 60 Squats

Extra Credit: Recovery Run (slow, easy, and short) – If you went long this weekend, it’s a good idea to go out and get it a short, slow and easy recovery run. Short means SHORT! 30-40 minutes tops. Easy means do not push pace. Don’t even worry about your time. Just shake our your legs and get them ready for the week.

Speed Work: We have several new Crew members this month so we are going back to the basics are starting with some 200M repeats (or .12 miles) for our speed work. Check it out and reach out to me with any questions.

If you have done these before you should have a benchmark for how fast you should be running. Take a look and see what you did before and match or beat those times. If you’re new to speed work, just go out and run at a relaxed sprint pace. Don’t push as hard as you can. You should be able to breathe but it won’t be easy.

  • 6 x 200M (90 recovery between sets) 
  1. Warm up – 1/2 mile to 1 mile SLOW (conversation pace)
  2. Drills – high knees, butt kicks, skipping, grapevines (3 sets of 15-20)
  3. Sprints with recovery (:90 between sets)
  4. Cool down – 1/2 mile to 1 mile SLOW (conversation pace)

This is a fast workout and you will only run 2-3 miles TOPS. Your lungs may be on fire…but the cool down will help and you will recover quickly.

Your speed work can be done any day of the week but make sure you give yourself 2-3 days before and after your long run to recover. This is a hard workout and your muscles need time to rebuild!

impossible until doneFinal thought on speed work. Don’t worry! Ask a few people in our group like who have been doing the speed work consistently (Jennifer Moro-Ortiz or Amiee Cords are great examples) about how they feel when they are done, about how they got past the anxiety over the speed, and how much their times have improved. Once you do it and it’s over… you feel fabulous and strong

That’s all for now Crew. Go out and have a fantastic, active Monday! 🙂


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