Are you looking for exercises to help improve your mood and keep energy levels high throughout the day?
In times of an ongoing pandemic, it’s essential to find ways to keep your body and mind healthy to boost your spirits. Not only will it keep your immune system healthy and strong, but it’ll help you better face all challenges life can hit you with.
And that’s where exercise comes into the picture.
Breaking a sweat enhances your sense of well-being and can lead to two types of good moods: positive high activation (feeling alert, excited, and happy) and positive low activation (feeling calm, content, and relaxed).
In this post, I’ll give you 3 powerful exercises that will help improve both mode types. But before digging in, let’s look at how exercise can help boost your mood in the first place.
How Does Exercise Improve Your Mood?
Before starting any of these exercises, the first step is to understand why exercise makes you feel better mentally and physically.
When your heart rate goes up during exercise, the body’s natural opioids called endorphins circulate in more significant numbers. At the same time, the brain starts producing higher levels of endocannabinoids, neurotransmitters, and other feel-good chemicals.
In addition, pushing through a workout also makes you feel better about yourself and reinforces the knowledge that you can go on even when you’re tired, and your body wants to stop. It helps you see that you can successfully handle a challenge.
Getting your body moving isn’t only beneficial for your overall health but can also help relieve stress and anxiety and take your mind off of worries.
1. Dance Your Worries Away
The combination of listening to good music and moving your body to the rhythms can boost endorphin levels, which will make you feel in better spirits almost instantly.
Dancing is both a physical and emotional release. Dancing raises your heart rate, and you’ll burn more calories. But it also offers a healthy escape for your mind. So, if you’re experiencing stress, depression, or anxiety, you should get your hips moving to some good tunes.
Besides, according to an Oxford University study, dancing increases social bonding with strangers, which will help you make new friends. Simply connecting with like-minded people can be mood-lifting in itself.
2. Calm Your Mind With Yoga
According to Chris Streeter, an associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, Yoga is associated with increased levels of GABA: amino acid and neurotransmitters that can help reduce anxiety.
Practicing Yoga can help you calm your mind and make you feel more confident about yourself. Also, the deep breathing techniques used in Yoga increase oxygen flow, which improves the functioning of all your organs, including your brain.
The key to improving your mood with Yoga is consistency. Practicing Yoga for 10 minutes per day or, at least, a couple of days a week can help reduce anxiety and improve your overall mood.
3. Start Spinning Your Wheels to Boost Energy Levels
Cycling is an excellent way to boost energy levels and electrically charge your brain. While you may think that aerobic exercises make you exhausted, they often give you a mental energy spike even if your body is tired.
A study by the University of Georgia in Athens found that participants reported higher energy levels after a single 30-minute session of cycling. In addition, positive electrical charges in the brain related to energy were also recorded.
However, as beneficial as a cycling class indoors can be, it’s even better to get outside to spin your wheels. Being outdoors in the fresh air and taking in the beautiful scenery on your bike ride will help to improve your mood.
Over to You
Remember that performing exercises you enjoy is the key to consistently doing them to lift your spirits. If these 3 exercises didn’t spike your interest, there are plenty of different workouts you can do to improve your mood. The most important thing is to get your body moving and get the endorphins pumping on a daily basis.
And for those of you who like to take things easier, even practicing 10-15 minute meditation sessions per day will help you cope with stress and anxiety and feel better throughout your day.