Trade in your cranky days for happier and healthier ones with 3 mood-boosting recommendations.
I think we could all agree upon the emotional benefits of exercise. In fact, studies indicate regular exercise not only builds your physical strength but also boosts your mood, reduces stress and increases self-esteem.
In this article, we’ve compiled the top 3 ways to boost your mood through exercise. In addition, we’ve added some short and effective cardio, strength and yoga routines for you to try.
Mood and Stress
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 16 million Americans suffer from depression, while anxiety disorders strike more than 30 percent of the population. In times like these, this despondency is more and more understandable.
So, why is exercise such a mood booster?
Neurotransmitters—chemicals in your brain—are responsible for the release of serotonin and norepinephrine. A deficiency in either serotonin or norepinephrine leads to depression.
Most antidepressants work to increase the amount of both neurotransmitters in your brain. But the most natural way to release these powerful neurotransmitters is through exercise. Post-workout effects include the release of endorphins, improved self-efficacy and diminished stress.
Mood-Boosting Tip #1: Get Some Fresh Air
We’ve already covered it—exercise is great for boosting your mood. But taking it outside can further enhance the mental health benefits. In fact, just 5 minutes of outdoor exercise can significantly boost your self-esteem and mood. And when you exercise near water, the effects are even stronger!
Here’s a fun outdoor circuit you can do in your backyard or local park.
High Knees x 30 seconds
Butt Kicks x 30 seconds
Alternating Toe Touches x 30 seconds
Plank Walks x 30 seconds
Walking Lunges x 60 seconds
Speed Skaters x 60 seconds
Bear Crawls x 60 seconds
Plank Jacks x 60 seconds
Plank x 60 seconds
Side Plank (Right) x 60 seconds
Side Plank (Left) x 60 seconds
Tricep Dips x 60 seconds
Note: If 60 seconds is too hard, start with 20 to 30 seconds of each exercise and increase the duration each week.
Mood-Boosting Tip #2: Practice Yoga
Boosting your mood is as easy as rolling out your yoga mat. According to research, practicing yoga at least 3 times per week leads to less stress and a better mood.
Start your morning with this simple yoga routine.
Morning Yoga Flow:
Easy Pose x 30 seconds
Bridge Pose x 30 seconds
Cat Pose x 30 seconds
Cow Pose x 30 seconds
Chair Pose x 30 seconds
Child’s Pose x 30 seconds
Cobra Pose x 30 seconds
Downward Dog x 30 seconds
Mood-Boosting Tip #3: Pick up the Intensity
Intense cardiovascular exercise is a great way to release mood-boosting endorphins in your body. Cardio activities that get your heart rate up—HIIT, jogging, circuit training, cycling, climbing stairs, elliptical training—reduce anxiety and depression.
If individual activities aren’t your thing, join a local sports league. Not only will you boost your mood, but you’ll make some new friends along the way. Or, join a local fitness class that offers HIIT classes like Crossfit or boxing.
Add this full-body HIIT workout to your weekly routine to boost your mood.
What are you waiting for? Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Your mood will thank you for it!
Not sure where to start? Gymondo can help. Explore 25+ fitness programs and 100s of online workout to get fit and feel happy.