Research suggests that exercise releases neurochemicals that function as antidepressants, stress relievers, and energy stimulators. The key is to mix and match moods with methods, so you can choose the right workout for your muscles when something else is on your mind.
How exercise improves mood:
When you engage in high-intensity exercise, your body and brain produce hormones and neurotransmitters that have a positive impact on your mood, memory, energy levels, and sense of well-being. Some of these are known as endorphins, the body's feel-good chemicals. They can result in the "runner's high" that joggers talk about. After a good workout, your muscles are tired, but you feel more relaxed. You may also feel a sense of accomplishment, which boosts your self-confidence and improves your sense of well-being. Thanks to your workout, the pent-up tension and stress in your muscles and your mind are reduced. studies show that even a single bout of exercise results in positive changes in brain chemicals and can improve your mood. When it comes to exercise, it's crucial that you pick something you enjoy. Cardiovascular exercise is great, but if you hate swimming or running, you won't stick with it. Cardiovascular and aerobic exercises are great for creating the intensity required for the release of mood-raising endorphins in your body. Aerobic exercises are those that get your heart rate up, like jogging, swimming, cycling, brisk walking, or using an elliptical trainer. You can also get your heart rate up by doing activities like gardening and dancing—both have been shown to reduce depression and anxiety. Yoga is a system of holistic health and spiritual growth which focuses on meditation, breathing exercises, and physical postures. Unless you're doing an active flow or vinyasa yoga class, yoga doesn't provide much of an aerobic workout. It can, however, teach you how to relax, release tension, for anxiety and depression.
Types of exercises to try for your mood:
-When your feeling low: Go outdoors/ Swimming - You donʼt want to surround yourself with lots of energised people when youʼre down, so think of places that allow you to think, fresh air and water are widely known for their soothing and relaxing nature.
-When youʼre tired: HIIT - The great thing about HIIT workouts is that they are intense and can be as short as 5 minutes if you need it to be. This way youʼll be done quickly and feel refreshed and ready for the day.
-When You're Angry: A Boxercise class / power workout. Go heavy on these days. Being angry elicits the greatest fight-or-flight response from your body, so you can use that hormonal surge for more strength and up the weight to release those emotions through movement
-When You're Anxious: If you're trying to reduce anxiety, you may want to stay away from heavy weights. The rowing machine is great alternative - The smooth, repetitive movement of the rowing machine allow you to go on autopilot while still releasing endorphins for feeling good afterwards. Yoga is also a perfect fitness fix for your worried mind.
- When youʼre lonely: Try something upbeat and fun like a dance or workout classes - The upbeat music and enthusiastic instructor is the ideal way to add some enjoyment and fun to a workout. - Plus if you start regularly attending classes you will get to know some of the regular attenders, form friendships, and forget about that lonely feeling in no time!
Some helpful tips:
-Know what you can handle - Particularly for when youʼre demotivated, you want to ensure you can complete the workout you set for yourself. Itʼs important to set yourself realistic goals and take them on one at a time.
-Give yourself a break - If working out doesnʼt seem appealing or achievable, going outdoors to get fresh air can help, but so can staying in and relaxing all day, the best thing you can do is listen to your body and what it needs.
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