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Running, exercise and happiness

We have been getting a lot of thoughts, messages, blogs and links from people who don’t understand why running does not make them happy.  I am not a therapist or someone who studies happy people but I do have 15 years experience of running and being happy.

I will start off with the anecdote of how I went to a grocery store with one of my gloomy friends who is totally self-centered and thinks the world sucks.  This friend told me how the store is a good store but the people are all terrible and unfriendly.

When we walked through the store, every employee said hello to me.  I thought this was curious but then I noticed my friend walks through stores with a lowered head and a scowl on his face.  This is what made me realize that it is our outlook on life that reflects on others and they respond to that positive outlook.

When I walk around there is usually a good chance that I am going to be in high spirits.  I like to swim in the morning before work, run or spin at lunch and either relax or do yoga after work.  That makes the probability of running into me after a workout high.

When I workout, I am happy to workout and I carry that happiness with me throughout the day and share it with other people.  People take that energy from me and give some of it back.  They always give the happiness back.

It also helps that I carry a lot of confidence from being so fit.  All of you who did a 13-mile or longer run know how much better your waistline looks now that you started endurance training.  For you beginners out there, you will start getting toned in no time.

Happiness comes from within.  Accept things as they are and carry cheerfulness with you throughout the day and soon you will find yourself happy to working out and it will carry on with you all of the time.

2 Comments so far »

  1. by Lorann Snow, on April 29 2010 @ 8:31 am


    Yesterday I was in a terrible mood, it was one of those days when everything that happens magnifies your lousy state of being. So, I decided to go for a run.

    It wasn’t a long run because the rain turned to hail and it hurt!…but I got my blood pumping, and endorphins flowing. When I got home I realized that my mood had completely changed. I felt much more at peace and all the things that were bothering me earlier, no longer mattered.

    There have been some very recent studies done in neuroscience that vindicate the ol’ “runners high” theory. The research shows that running does elicit a flood of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are associated with mood changes, and the more endorphins a runner’s body pumps out, the greater the effect.

    So there you have it!

  2. by ted, on April 29 2010 @ 8:40 am


    That is the spirit. Take that runners high and carry it with you through the rest of the day. I have a feeling, you already know what I am talking about when I say a positive outlook life is returned to you from the people you meet all day long.

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