Exercise Improves Happiness

Posted by Daniel Aipa on 08/29/2012
Aug 292012
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One of the driving forces behind The Aipa Project’s ‘Build a Ku Body’ is my passion of strength and fitness.  I believe when someone improves their overall health will in turn improve in other areas and live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.  In order to build a physically Ku body you must strive for the Hawaiian value of Olakino Maika’i (Good Health).

Olakino Maika’i

My passions in life are training, writing, and helping other people succeed.  While some may see exercising as something they HAVE to do to stay in shape and have good health, I see exercising as something that I WANT to do.  You choose how you perceive things.  I’m not exactly sure who said this but “Your perceptions becomes your reality.”  When you look at exercise as more of a chore, of course your motivation won’t be there or it would take a lot more work.  Approach exercise with a positive mentality and you will experience a physical transformation as well.

Exercise Improves Happiness

I’ve had those days when I didn’t want to exercise.  I was tired, felt lazy, and was feeling unmotivated.  But as I began exercising I felt a little more energy.  Next, I noticed I actually felt pretty good.  The weights felt easier and I wanted to do more reps.  I had an extra kick in my step.  I was ready to attack my workout and my mood suddenly changed from lazy to stoked.  I’m sure you have experienced something like that before.  So why does it happen?

During exercise, “happy hormones” are released. The most recognized of these hormones are endorphins.  Endorphins interact with receptors in your brain and allows you to reduce your perception of pain. You push yourself hard during a run or a workout session and as you come to the end you feel a rush energy. That’s what I love about these “happy hormones” – the “stoked” feeling you get in your mind, body, and soul.

Sometimes after a workout I’m lying on the ground exhausted, but a few minutes later I want to go back for round 2.  Now, of course I’m not going to do that because I want to be able to walk the next day but I do feel a lot more positive and ready to spread the Aloha even more.

Here are more awesome reasons why you should participate in a consistent exercise program:

  • Reduces Stress I don’t easily get stressed but there are some days that I do.  My body feels tense.  My shoulders feel tight.  I feel anxious.  Not a good feeling. But,  after a workout I feel all that tension leave my body.
  • Boosts Self-EsteemAfter workouts, I feel better about myself and I feel like I can rule the world.  This feeling stays with me for the rest of the day.  This “stoked” feeling, I like to call it, is transferred into everything I do for the remainder of the day.
  • Improves SleepI don’t know about you, but when the end of the day comes and I know I had a solid workout.  I can actually go to bed knowing that I got my activity for the day in and all the energy and tension I may have been feeling before is gone.
  • Rids of anxiety - This is where endorphins help because they promote a feeling of well-being.  Ask people about me, and you’ll quickly find out
  • Makes You SmileIt makes me smile.

Nike Says it Best “Just Do it”

There are so many different types of exercises out there today.  Just recently I began attending a TRX class at the Energy Lab in Redlands, CA (which by the way if you are ever in the Redlands area, I definitely recommend you to visit Jill over at the Energy Lab – she does a great job and will give you a solid workout). Jill if you are reading this – Aloha!

But, don’t be afraid of joining a class if you need the motivation.  Do yoga and pilates.  Make working in the yard a part of your daily routine.  My dad doesn’t lift weights anymore but he walks and does yard work everyday.  He has no problem with sleeping and smiling.

I have people ask me when should they start and what should they do?  I say –  Start now.  Don’t wait till tomorrow, next week, next month, after your vacation.  You start now.  Don’t look at exercise as a HAVE to, but more of a WANT to.  Which brings up my next point. I do workouts that I have fun doing.  Even when I’m training my athletes, I want them to have fun.  Find an activity that you feel comfortable with and enjoy doing.  I love to dance, so I’ve been playing with the thought of maybe trying Zumba one day.  I’ll let you know if I ever do.

My Pressed for Time Workout Routine:

I do this when I need a quick and effective workout to get my heart thumping and sweat running.  It may not look like much, but it gets me feeling good and I like to consider myself in pretty darn good shape.

Push-ups: I love push-ups.  It’s one of those exercises when it’s leg day, I’ll ask my training partner, “What’s next?” He would respond with push-ups and we would drop down to the group and start cranking out push-ups.  For this routine I do 15-20 reps.  Why the range? It’s because of the next exercise.

Burpees: Now burpees I’m not very fond of but it gets the job done and I do actually have fun doing them.  They are just hard.  Usually after the burpees my heart is already racing.  I push for 10 reps as fast as possible.

Pull-ups: I feel like I still suck at pull-ups.  But I’m getting better at them.  Right now I push for anywhere between 6-12 reps.  It’s one of those exercises I know I MUST do.

Stationary Lunges: I’m actually one of those guys who enjoy doing legs.  I just have to be mentally ready.  But lunges are one of my favorite leg exercises.  For these I’ll either do them by stepping forward and back alternating, or I’ll perform them jumping and alternating feet.

I don’t follow a specific sets or reps.  Sometimes I’ll go for 15 minutes and see how many rounds I can do with resting 30 seconds in between exercises.  Other times, I’ll crush the exercises straight through with no rest and then take a 2 minute rest  in between each round. Lastly,  I won’t stop until I do a total of 100 reps for all of the exercises.

After I’m done with this workout, my body feels awesome.  Like I said before, it’s that “stoked” feeling.  I’m totally exhausted but ready to crush the rest of the day.

Please take a few seconds to share this with your friends.  I’m sure they will appreciate you helping them out getting started.

Mahalo. Aloha. A hui hou.



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