Jump!

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My feet rarely leave the ground. For exercise, I use the stationary bike, the Stairmaster, yoga, and weight-training. I walk everywhere. I almost never run up the stairs or hop over puddles.

I think I need more jumping in my life.

A friend told me that she started doing five jumping-jacks each morning, to jar herself awake, and I’ve resolved to add that as a New Year’s resolution – just before I sit down at my computer each morning. That will be a good way to get a few jumps in before my day starts.

Jumping seems energetic, healthy, cheerful, fun. As I waited outside the door of my daughter’s nursery school class the other day, I saw one mother give a little skip as she walked down the hallway — and I was struck by the exuberant charm of that little unconscious gesture.

Philippe Halsman, a photographer responsible for more than a hundred Life covers, was famous for his “jump pictures.” He asked people like Richard Nixon, John Steinbeck, and the Duchess of Windsor to jump for their portraits. It is exhilarating to look at these photographs; they radiate energy.

One of the most important things I’ve learned from my happiness project is my Third Commandment, to Act the way I want to feel. If I’m jumping and skipping, I’m going to feel more energetic and light-hearted.

Have you found any easy ways to make yourself a lift? I’m very curious to see if jumping is an effective strategy. Now that I think about it, jumping-jacks may be a little bit too…calisthenics-ish. Maybe I should just jump.

 

From 2006 through 2014, as she wrote The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, Gretchen chronicled her thoughts, observations, and discoveries on The Happiness Project Blog.

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