How sport can affect your happiness

Sport can make you happy!

Learn how to activate and level the neurochemicals that affect your happiness – Dopamin, Serotonin, Epinephrine and Endorphins.

The keys to increasing the levels of Dopamin and Serotonin in your body are low to moderate exercise, activities that rely more on endurance than power, and to recruit your slow twitch muscle fibers instead of your fast twitch ones.

  • running (long distance)
  • cycling
  • hiking
  • swimming
  • yoga
  • pilates

Ultimate tip: Do a yoga or pilates course together with friends or others that boosts your Serotonin even more!

Epinephrine is our “fight or flight” neurochemical. It makes your heart race, elevates the temperature and blood-pressure. It is raised when we exercising at very high intensity.

Endorphins are your own painkillers. It is partially responsable for the “runners high” and allows us to feel less pain when enganged in physical activity.

Run couchpotato run!

I already talked about the benefits of sports, especially endurance sports, for your happiness, but how to get started?

Quite a while back, I found a program called C25K (Couch to 5 kilometers) on the internet and since I really love it, I’d like to share it with you.

It can be found on, on and several other sites, so I’ll focus here on the most important questions and tips.

What’s it about?

It is a 9 week program, that gradually takes you to running for 30 minutes or 5 kilometers. It starts with intervals of 60 seconds running and 90 seconds walking. In the begin and end you walk for 5 minutes to warm up. You are supposed to run 3 times a week with a resting day in between.

Can I do it?

Generally the program is designed, so that everyone can start it. If you absolutely can’t run for 60 seconds, not even in very slow speed, just start walking 3 times a week! This is what I did in the beginning, until I felt strong enough to run!

What does it do?

It builds up your endurance and strength in a soft manner.

How does it work?

Go to for a detailed plan.

What else do I need?

I personally use Robert Ullrey’s podcasts, which guide you from week to week. His supportive voice tells you exactly when to slow down and when to run. Using free available music it is available as a podcast or as mp3.

General motivational tips

Get out running first thing in the morning of your supposed running day. You should not shower or brush teeth, just fall out of your bed into your running shoes and RUN. If you don’t have time to think about why you should go outside run, you’ll be suprised when you find yourself out there running 🙂