The Joy Workout
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: July 4th, 2022
It’s no secret that exercise, even in small doses, can improve your mood. Researchers even have a name for it: the feel-better effect. And while any physical activity — a walk, a swim, a bit of yoga — can give you an emotional boost, we wanted to create a short workout video specifically designed to make people happy. What would a “joy workout” look like? I’m a psychologist fascinated by the science of emotion. I’ve also taught group exercise classes for more than 20 years. To design a happiness workout, I turned to the research I leverage in those classes, to maximize the joy people get from moving their bodies. Imagine fans erupting when their team clinches a playoff spot. Researchers have identified several movements like this that are recognizable in many cultures as inspired by joy: reaching your arms up; swaying from side to side, like concertgoers losing themselves in the music; other rhythmic movements, such as bouncing to a beat; or taking up more space, like dancers spinning, arms outstretched. These physical actions don’t just express a feeling of joy — research shows they can also elicit it. The resulting eight and a half–minute Joy Workout lets you test these effects yourself. It leads you through six joy moves: reach, sway, bounce, shake, jump for joy and one I named “celebrate” that looks like tossing confetti in the air. I based these moves on research and on the movements that produce the most joy in my classes, among people of all ages and abilities.
Note: Watch a video of the the Joy Workout at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.