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Physical exercise: an activator of happiness

The difficult and exhausting task of educating requires us to have sufficient energy and enjoy physical and emotional well-being. We invite you to reflect on the following question: Do you lead a healthy lifestyle?

The way we live, how we eat, whether or not we exercise physically, whether we sleep or rest enough, or our state of mind are essential to enjoy physical, cognitive and emotional health. Teaching your children healthy lifestyle habits (good nutrition, physical exercise, getting enough sleep...) is the best gift you can give them.   Not only mathematics is important.

For all this, we want to start giving you a chapter of the book TÚ PUEDES APRENDER A SER FELIZ, 2018. Written by the psychologist Carmen Serrat-Valera and the journalist Alexa Diéguez, it has had great success. This book addresses the basic pillars of a healthy lifestyle, as well as the paths to happiness and those paths that do not lead us to it. All of this from a scientific approach, as well as useful and practical, and that you can share with the whole family.

We share with you the chapter referring to PHYSICAL EXERCISE .  We offer you many and varied reasons to encourage you to practice it regularly.


If you are interested in reading the complete book you can find it in the following link .  We warn that the publication, having been made in 2018, may have some changes in the concepts since science advances very quickly.


Physical exercise is not only one of the habits that most benefits the proper functioning of our body, but it is a very powerful source of well-being and satisfaction. Through physical activity, our body secretes a large amount of endorphins which, as we have seen, substantially improve our mood.


If you are depressed, regular physical exercise will be of great help to combat sadness, hopelessness and apathy. If you are tense or overly excited, gentle exercise will act as a powerful relaxant. And if you are well, it will help you feel even better, full of energy. In all cases, it is a simple, cheap tool with no adverse effects.


If physical exercise is not yet part of your life, we encourage you to start incorporating it into your daily life. When you make it a habit as everyday as brushing your teeth, you will see that it only brings you benefits. As you will see in the box we offer below, there are many and varied reasons to practice physical exercise on a regular basis.

Advantages for the body:
– Helps eliminate muscle tension.
– Tones the muscles.
– Increases respiratory capacity.
– Oxygenates the brain, increasing mental acuity and concentration.
– Metabolizes excess adrenaline and thyroxine in the blood caused by stress, thereby reducing tension and increasing relaxation.
– Produces endorphins, natural substances that increase the feeling of well-being and have antidepressant and analgesic effects.
– Increases the level of mental and physical energy.
– Improves circulation and facilitates digestion.
– Helps regulate blood sugar levels, thereby combating and improving diabetes.
– Lowers blood pressure, thus preventing and reducing hypertension.
– Reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol, thereby reducing cardiovascular risk.
– Reduces appetite and helps lose weight. Prevents obesity.
– Fights constipation.
– Prevents and improves osteoporosis and osteopenia.

Psychological advantages:
– Helps relieve feelings of frustration.
– Contributes to creating a feeling of relaxation and well-being.
– Reduces depressive symptoms.
- It helps fight insomnia.
– Helps combat anxiety.
– Helps improve self-esteem.
– Substantially improves the perception of one's own health and helps one feel younger.
– Helps reduce dependence on alcohol, tobacco and certain medications.

Now you may be thinking that it is not so easy to dedicate time daily to physical activity; it may even be that the simple idea of going to the gym or signing up for classes in a sporting discipline bores you to death. Don't worry, exercising doesn't necessarily mean practicing a regulated sport or going to a specific place, it's much easier than that. You just have to learn a few tricks to increase your activity level.

You can change your mood through activity. The simple act of keeping moving is an antidote to depression. 

Ideally, you should find your own way of doing it, but here are some tips that may be useful to you:

1. Use the car less. If you can, walk to work. If you live too far away, opt for public transportation and get off two or three stops early to walk for a while.

2. Forget about elevators. Climbing stairs is one of the exercises that burns the most calories, in addition to improving respiratory and cardiovascular resistance. And both raising and lowering them greatly tones the muscles of the legs and glutes. Furthermore, in the long term it guarantees good mobility in middle age.

3. Get back into the habit of walking. They say that walking is one of the most complete sports and, of course, it is the most economical and easy to incorporate into anyone's life. If you add to that the observation of everything around you, it becomes a pleasure and an opportunity to meditate. Start by walking for half an hour three times a week. Then increase it to an hour three times a week or, better yet, half an hour at least five times a week.

4. When you get used to walking, introduce the fast pace. Walking at a brisk pace for half an hour five times a week is considered sufficient to maintain optimal physical fitness. When you have become an expert walker, increase your pace little by little until you can walk quickly for half an hour. The ideal would be to combine a “fast” half hour, to activate yourself, with a slow half hour to be able to observe your surroundings and return home relaxed.


5. Buy a stationary bike or, better yet, an elliptical. Set the goal of doing half an hour a day or, if that seems too much, at least half an hour three times a week. Don't force yourself, start with five minutes and gradually increase the time, five minutes at a time. To make it more entertaining, you can listen to music, watch TV or read while you practice.


6. Dare to do gymnastics or any other activity that improves flexibility . Working on the elasticity of muscles and joints is not only perfect for eliminating muscle tension, but it also makes us feel younger. If you feel like it, sign up for yoga, tai chi, pilates or simply maintenance gymnastics classes. If you combine them with walks or cycling, it is enough to go once a week. If you don't have time or don't feel like it, you can try doing gymnastics at home. There are very good and simple videos that can help you, such as those of Jane Fonda.


7. Go cycling if you live in a flat area with little traffic. 20 minutes three times a week is enough.

8. Take advantage of the beach or the mountains on vacation. Walking along the seashore is especially invigorating because the sand massages the feet and the sea air purifies the lungs. If you walk in the sea, with water up to your ankles, you will also improve venous circulation. In the mountains, don't miss the opportunity to take long walks breathing fresh air. If you like walking in the mountains but you don't want to go alone and it's hard for you to encourage someone to accompany you, search the Internet. If you are looking for hiking you will find multiple addresses that offer you, for a very low price, a guide and a hiking group.

9. Establish a routine . Setting a fixed schedule and maintaining regularity helps make physical exercise a pleasant habit. It may start out as an obligation, but the force of habit, and its countless benefits, will make it become an essential part of your life. Choose the time of day that best suits you, but keep in mind that exercise is stimulating and can make it difficult to sleep if done right before going to sleep.

10. Don't be a perfectionist. It is better to exercise two or three times a week than to do nothing. Be content with spending as much time as you can on it. And don't push yourself too hard: moderate exercise is powerfully antioxidant, but if it becomes strenuous it has the opposite effect.

11. Make a calendar and reward yourself when you meet it. It seems silly, but if you set specific goals you will feel more motivated to meet them and you will be able to recognize your progress. Every time you comply, reward yourself, it will help you repeat.

12. Involve your friends and family. Meet them to go to the gym, play sports, go on a hiking trail or simply go for a walk. Commitment to other people will help you meet your goals, in addition to improving your relationship by escaping the routine of meals, dinners, drinks, etc.

13. Enjoy what you do. Do not force yourself or insist on doing physical activities that are not to your liking or that do not adapt to your characteristics. Look for those that suit you the most and, whenever you practice them, think that you are doing something good for yourself. Something you want to do to feel good, and not just something you have to do to be healthier.

To the point: how to influence your mood

– Accept the ups and downs. They happen to everyone. She enjoys the good moments without fear and thoroughly. In bad moments, do not look for causes or culprits for the negative things that happen to you, do not ruminate, do not trust your current vision of life or the assessment of yourself and others that you make at these moments. When you are bad, you tend to see everything worse than it really is.
- Eye! to your thoughts: don't make a mountain out of a molehill or carry your problems around all day. Distract yourself, relativize.
– If your problem is real and concrete, choose a time in your schedule to deal with it and try to forget about it for the rest of the time.
– Don't sit still waiting for everything to happen or hide your head under the pillow. You have a very powerful tool at your fingertips: put endorphins in your life! performing physical exercise and cultivating pleasurable activities and rewarding activities.


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