Health experts have recommended eating right and exercise for decades. They are the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. What isn’t discussed as much or as widely is how these two simple actions can affect your mood and sense of well-being.
When you are eating junk food, it may make you “happy” at the time. Later, when you think about your nutritional choices, you often feel disappointed in yourself, knowing that you should be eating better, but not finding the willpower to do it. When you look outside on a bright sunny day, you think about your bicycle sitting chained up on your porch, or your running shoes in a pile in your closet, but you choose to do nothing but sit on your couch binge-watching Orange is the New Black. The feelings of frustration come later when you realize that your jeans are tight, your hair is dull, or you can’t take the stairs to the second floor without resting at the landing halfway up.
The weight you gain, the fitness you lose, the frustration and disappointment with yourself are simply the side effects of your unhealthy choices. Sure, you may enjoy the junk food and binge-watching while you are doing it, but later, the fleeting enjoyment you feel is gone, and what is left is a sense of mortification that you’ve made unhealthy choices.
When you make positive choices, the change in your mindset is immediate and lasting. If you choose to go for a bike ride rather than watching television, you will feel a true sense of happiness that isn’t fleeting and doesn’t fade away after a few minutes. The joy and satisfaction you feel is twofold, it is first a psychological sense of happiness, where you feel good about yourself and your choices. Your healthy decisions will help you feel that you have control of your own life and you’ve decided to make the most of it! Secondly, you’ll have a physiological response to your healthy eating and exercise. Healthy foods give you vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are lacking from junk food that will improve your mood and give you energy to exercise, which will give you endorphins that improve your mood, as well.
Together, healthy nutritional choices and exercise can dramatically improve your overall sense of happiness, well-being, and zest for life. Making better choices for your health and fitness will make your life happier and you will feel contentment that is long lasting and real.