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How Exercise Becomes Your Happy Hour and Your Healthy Hour

Ah the happy hour: that space in between work and home, usually between the hours of 4:30 and 7 p.m. (When my kids were little, those hours were the "yappy hours," either wrangling kids while trying to make dinner or getting neighbors together in a yard, park or cul-de-sac to wear them out before bath and bedtime).

Whether a happy hour sounds like an hour with friends or an hour alone, when you think about it, how do you feel?

You may be excited to connect outside of work or home and talk about what's going on in your life. You look forward to being in a different place, and you may enjoy having a glass of wine, beer, or a cocktail. (Because alcohol causes the brain to release neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, we often mistake that for happiness. And as our tolerance for alcohol increases, we desire more for the same effect -- a cruel tool for long-term happiness.)

Yet our happy place comes down to how we feel when we think about it: maybe it's our "third place" or "third space" that create a sense of connection and community.

So what if we turn desire for happy hour into a healthy hour?

What would healthy hour look like? Here's a few ideas:

  • You feel connected to other people who have similar interests and experiences with exercise.

  • You feel good -- your exercise releases neurotransmitters and hormones that improve well-being (and perhaps do not activate "fight or flight" response)

  • You learn something and feel engaged with your mind and your body.

  • You enjoy drinking and food that are nourishing and replenishing.

  • You feel like you could do more -- empowered.

  • You feel like more is possible -- your belief in your future self shifts. "I'm becoming the kind of person who exercises in the morning ... after work ... five days a week... works out on vacation ... learns Pilates..."

To make exercise your own Happy Hour, join us on May 30 at 7:30 a.m. for mat class, then stay for "Healthy Hour." We'll have healthy drinks and snacks, and certified nurse coach Laura Hayek, R.N., will share her tips for healthy summer eating and making great choices for your mind and body on vacation.

At Healthy Hour, I'll teach easy strategies to do your own mat Pilates workout whether you have five minutes or 25. Learn how to trust your body to keep moving and feel stronger all summer.

Questions? Send a message to 512-361-4346.

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