Enjoyment is so important because research shows time and again that people who achieve their goals and stick at things when the going gets tough, find a way to enjoy the process.
By doing this they focus less on the end goal and more on the steps toward it as they learn to enjoy the process of doing what is necessary to achieve their goal.
When you enjoy what you are doing, you will keep doing it.
How does having fun improve my health?
Research shows the people who enjoy what they do find that time passes quickly, things feel easier and they often don’t feel as much pain as those who dislike what they are doing. Fun also helps us emotionally because if people who regularly have periods of fun and have things in their lives that they look forward to then they are the most likely to continue when they face hard times, assuming they keep doing the things that make them happy.
Simply having fun and being happy is known to be good for your health because it will lower your stress hormones but added to that most people find it much easier to stick to a healthy lifestyle when they enjoy their life. the biggest problem with most healthy lifestyles and interventions is that people just do not enjoy doing them so they eventually give up.
Yet research consistently shows that those who stick with healthy lifestyles end up getting the health benefits so it is not hard to see that finding things that you enjoy is crucial to your health and finding ways to fit them into your life, especially ways that promote the right lifestyle will be worth the effort.
Give me a practical example
To give you an example let me take you back to a wonderful holiday I had with my family in Weymouth, England back in 2015 where on the first day I made the effort to go out and explore the local area to see what I could find. I was tired from a hard day of packing and driving and parenting I wanted to start my holiday so I once the little one was in bed I went out for an evening stroll to have a little me time and unwind from the day.
Wandering around exploring my local area has become a hobby of mine and given me so many happy memories that even at the end of a tiring day when all I want to do is set down and rest I still find the energy to get out. Purely because I enjoy it and I keep getting new memories that I would not have had if I had stayed at home.
The beauty with an evening stroll is that you get steps and movement and all sorts of things that we all know are good for our health. That evening I discovered many things including a railway walk that I can still picture today with fond memories..
The Rodwell trail railway walk
The Rodwell trail that led right back to our holiday site. It was a short walk from the coastal path that I was already on and gave me a completely different view of Weymouth. Changing from wide coastal views to thick trees either side with a view north or south but little either side.
I was wondering whether I wanted to continue because I enjoy lots of trails like these at home all the time but being on holiday I wanted something different so I was considering changing course and going back to the coastal path or something else.
Then something caught my eye and convinced me this was the path I needed to follow. I saw the sign below and it reminded me of the type of sign you often get in Milton Keynes giving you the history of the area you are in and telling you what you are looking at.
When I looked closer at the sign I found out I was doing something quite special to me. We have an old railway in Milton Keynes that was converted to a railway walk that I use all the time because it has beautiful views.
It turns out that Weymouth has a railway walk too and I was walking all along it. The views are also amazing and, just like at home, every so often you walk past a platform that passengers used to wait at which reminds you that a steam train used to tootle past your feet every day. It’s a surreal experience.
I had been feeling a bit of deja vu on this trail and now I had learned why. It turns out that I was on Weymouth railway walk and I was excited for another reason.
My Grandma came from Weymouth so the whole trip has been in my head as one to explore where she grew up and understand her childhood a little better.
So it was a really pleasant surprise that Weymouth connects me with my Grandma and with another railway walk which was built around the same time as ours in Milton Keynes.
Find a way to have fun today
You have read my example so now I challenge you to have a think about how you can have some fun today. The aim is just to remind yourself that every day is an opportunity to have fun because that it is how you know you are living and it is what will get you through the tough times. Whether you do this at home in a familiar environment or go somewhere. Let me know in the comments below what you did and how it felt. I look forward to seeing what ideas you come up with.
Thanks for stopping by. If you liked this summary and want to learn more about improving your health then visit Day 1 of our holiday in Weymouth to read the full details.