From The Straits Times    |

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World Mental Health Day just passed us in early October, and it was a great reminder of how important mental and emotional health are in keeping us level-headed and well, happy. Sometimes we find ourselves going to great lengths in the pursuit of happiness. Whether it’s a luxurious spa day with the girls or a shopping spree that our wallet didn’t thank us for after, we tend to yearn to achieve happiness in our lives no matter what the cost. While it’s perfectly fine to splurge once in a while, we’ve got ways to keep happy without breaking the bank.

Though often neglected, our physical health is equally important in the search for happiness. In fact, endorphins are released in our brains when we exercise to help us fight stress and block the feeling of pain. Bonus: it’s even associated with the feeling of euphoria, something that we could all use a dose of.

Here, we have 5 exercises that are sure to keep our spirits lifted even after the dullest of days.


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Even though yoga first originated thousands of years ago as an ancient discipline, it is one of the most popular go-to exercises now, and for good reason.

Not only does it help with achieving a toned body and overall flexibility, but it also promotes mindfulness by getting you to concentrate on specific parts of your body as you move through different poses.

This makes yoga the perfect exercise for destressing as it takes your mind off your worries while you focus on balancing and controlling your breathing. While we recommend gathering a bunch of your close girlfriends to attend weekly yoga classes together, you could always grab a yoga mat and try one-legged balancing postures in your living room.



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This is the one exercise you know you’ll never have to drag yourself to do. Dancing to upbeat music while sweating it out is definitely your best bet if you’re looking to take a break from your jam-packed schedule.

Coordinating your footwork to the beat of the latest Maroon 5 hit doesn’t just help with toning the calf muscles, but it also releases those mood-improving endorphins. Plus, when you get those moves right, it’s a natural confidence booster which will definitely keep you in an upbeat mood for the rest of the week.



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It’s no secret that cycling provides multiple health benefits such as toning your leg muscles and increasing your stamina. But what you may not know is that cycling is a great way to get you in a good mood to take on the otherwise dreary week.

There are many cycling trails in Singapore for you to explore, accompanied by great scenic views for you to enjoy while on your bike. From exploring Coney Island on your two wheels to getting a taste of mountain biking on Track 15 (located in the Northern region of Singapore at Mandai), there are more than enough cycling routes for you to have a crack at. Bring some friends along with you and don’t forget to grab your helmet too – safety first.



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Sometimes all you need is a dip in the pool to wake yourself up and get yourself motivated to tackle the day ahead. Beyond losing weight and lowering your blood pressure, swimming is also a boon to your emotional health and overall happiness.

From the constant repetitive motion of the breaststroke up and down each lap to being underwater for a good 5 seconds before coming up for air, it’s no wonder some liken swimming to meditating.

Being underwater blocks out surrounding noises and gives you some alone time with your inner thoughts, which gives you the perfect opportunity to put aside those worries and focus on the positive. You’ll find yourself leaving the swimming pool in a calmer, more relaxed mood than before you entered.


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And lastly, when in doubt, head out for a jog. Running not only clears your head, but it also sets your mind straight too and this helps you tackle the tasks ahead. We suggest setting a goal before you head out for your run – be it a certain number of rounds around the track or a stipulated amount of time that you want to keep running for.

The act of setting an achievable goal and working towards it actually helps to trigger happiness, whether you actually end up reaching that goal or not. This puts you in better shape, not just physically but mentally too. And if you do end up accomplishing that goal you set, you’ll feel a great sense of empowerment that’s sure to put a smile on your face.