Latest Stories

Happiness plays a major role in one’s health and fitness


A HAPPY and fit person will always shine. HTTP://MENOPAUSEMAKEOVER.COM

Although lots of people are now into fitness and healthy lifestyles, many are not yet   ready  to start a physical wellness program because they  lack the motivation, inspiration and positive feelings  to initiate change.

This type of challenge has empowered experts and health professionals to develop a holistic approach to wellness. Health advocates like  the IDEA Health and Fitness community, the world’s leading organization in health and fitness, are now putting more efforts to incorporate campaigns for positive well-being into health care and fitness programs worldwide. One such is  improving one’s level of happiness for  positive physical health.

Positive emotions

As professionals, we should not focus solely on a client’s body-fat percentage, or how many repetitions of push-ups he or she can do. Rather, we should also focus on clients’  positive emotions,  not only as a result of exercise, but also based on how they manage their thoughts and actions.

Not all fitness and medical experts have a solid foundation in psychology and spiritual wellness, but our constant encounter with clients or patients, based on how we present ourselves as role models, what we say to them, and what we do even in our private lives, can have a direct and positive influence in their thoughts and feelings.

In our own little way, we contribute to people’s overall well-being.

According to Peter Davis,  creator of IDEA’s “Exercise Your Happiness” program, to meaningfully change our clients’ lives, we should consider our selves not only as fitness professionals but  happiness professionals, too.

What is happiness?

The June 2011 issue of “IDEA Fitness Journal” presented various definitions of happiness by positive psychology experts:

Martin Seligman, known as the father of positive psychology, presents in his book, “Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being,” a broader model of the well-being theory, called Perma. This model  encompasses five measurable elements that constitute human flourishing: positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning and accomplishment.

According to a study published in the “Review of General Psychology” by Sonja Lyubomirsky, one of the world’s leading researchers on happiness,  40 percent of our happiness is within our power to change through the ways we think and act. This shows that we have the power to decide and act on our happiness. The other 50 percent can be credited to a genetic set point or baseline.

Meanwhile, research published in “Psychological Bulletin” by  psychology professor and senior scientist Ed Diener suggests that only about 10 percent of our happiness is associated with life circumstances such as money, beauty, marriage and health.  This implies that many transformations we create in our lives can make us only 10 percent happier, but we can still do something about it.


According to Diener, there is a growing body of evidence that happiness is beneficial for one’s survival of illness and longevity. In his 2011 review, he concluded that high subjective well-being may add 4-10 years of life compared with low subjective well-being.

A study published in the “Archives of General Psychiatry” that tracked over 6,000 men and women for 20 years shows that that emotional vitality (sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness, engagement in life, and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional stability) appears to lessen the chance of coronary heart disease.

Aside from better physical health and longer life, Lyubomirsky reports in her book, “The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want,” that the other consequences of happiness include higher income, greater productivity and higher quality of work, and more satisfying relationships.

Life strategies

Our current emotional state definitely affects  how we can strive to improve ourselves (through physical activities and healthy eating for improved physical health), and how we can give more love and service to the people around us (inspire others to improve their lifestyle).

Define your happiness and work on it. What makes you really happy? Think and feel it. If  being with and exercising with your special someone  makes you smile, then make an effort to communicate your concerns with your partner.

Focus on the positives rather than your flaws, then   move on.  Stop wasting your time comparing yourself to others.   Focus instead on your good traits and even your best physical features and always remember that character is  more important than appearance.

Count your blessings and opportunities. As soon as you wake up, thank God for giving you another opportunity to be happy once again. Think of what you have in your life right now and the opportunities you have in the next 24 hours.

This will help you get started on things that you find difficult to pursue, like another day of loving your body by taking care of your health, improving your fitness level and embracing your new lifestyle.

Nourish relationships. Be glad each day for having the most loving and supportive people around you. Return their love and concern by being your most radiant self, possessing   the energy and cheerfulness to  positively influence them.

Learn from your shortcomings and always be ready to get up and start again. Always consider failures and weaknesses as opportunities and learning experiences to become a better person. The journey to improved health and fitness requires a sustained effort, everyday.

E-mail the author at mitchfelipe@gmail.com Follow her on twitter@mitchfelipe.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: fitness , happiness , Health , Lifestyle

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  6. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  7. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  8. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  9. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions