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Workout the Smile

"Let's exercise for happiness!"
By: James BarramedaWorkout the Smile

Though it would be fantastic if you could run the marathon, you don’t actually need intensive exercise to lift up your spirits. The Harvard Medical School says that even breathing exercise, stretching, or walking can already be an effective stress buster.

If you want a more productive type of physical activity that can calm your mind, start scrubbing the floors of your house or fold your laundry. If you like gardening or cooking, go ahead—they are both great chores that double as a hobby.

When you’re ready for the next level, you can start climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator or walking a few blocks to buy from a store instead of riding a car. You can even try buying a bicycle so that you can go biking around your village every weekend. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily and this will do wonders for your overall health and general mood. For a more depression-busting experience, ask a loved one to come with you so you can take the time to bond with each other as well.

If you can (and if your doctor gives you the green light), bring it up a notch higher by signing up for an exercise class. If you don’t want to touch your monthly budget for the family, just put on a pair of rubber shoes and start jogging around the village. When you start doing more strenuous physical activity, it is important that you do this gradually until your body becomes accustomed to the intensity. Always start with a warm up and end with a cool down.

Lastly, watch what you eat. The effects of exercise can be easily countered by unhealthy eating. Have balanced meals every day by choosing more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains rather than sugary, fat-filled treats.

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