A lot of experts recommend exercising when you’re feeling sad. The main reason is that some workouts can offer mental and emotional benefits aside from improving your physique. But, what if you’re not used to working out regularly? Don’t worry. There are various activities you can choose depending on your energy and fitness level. With that, here are five excellent mood-lifting exercises you can try when you’re feeling blue.
When thinking of an excellent workout that can improve your mood, most of you will probably first consider yoga. This is not surprising because this activity can alter your emotions in various ways.
First, yoga increases your GABA levels, brain chemicals that can help you relax. Furthermore, yoga involves slow and deep breathing. This technique can increase the oxygen flow in your body, eventually leading to the optimal performance of your brain and other organs. Lastly, mindfulness is an essential part of yoga. By being mindful, you’ll learn to slow down and break negative thoughts resulting in a more content feeling.
If you want to practice yoga, the first step is to learn the proper way of breathing. For beginners, it is imperative to find a qualified yoga instructor that can guide and teach you the principles of this trendy anti-stress activity. To get yoga’s mind-calming benefits, experts recommend practicing for an hour at least once a week. Always remember, consistency is the key to a successful yoga journey.
2. Jogging or Running
Running or jogging is one of the most popular mood-lifting exercises. In fact, some people run or jog to get the so-called runner’s high or a feeling of deep contentment and bliss.
According to studies, this euphoric sensation is due to the release of endorphins in response to running. Basically, endorphins are your body’s version of morphine. As such, this brain chemical can decrease pain and improve your mood.
To reap the mood-boosting effects of this exercise, experts recommend running for about 20 to 30 minutes two to three times a week.
3. Tai Chi
Tai Chi is an excellent exercise if you’re searching for a low-intensity activity that can improve your mood. Basically, this ancient Chinese practice is like meditating and moving at the same time. As such, tai chi teaches you some key principles for managing stress, which is to relax, concentrate, and take things slowly. As a group activity, tai chi can also help uplift your spirits, especially if you’re feeling lonely.
The best way to get the relaxing effects of Tai Chi is to exercise every day for about 20 minutes.
4. Zumba and Other Dance Classes
Another fun activity in this list of mood-lifting exercises is Zumba or attending any dance classes. Like running, dancing is also an aerobic workout. Thus, it can also trigger the release of endorphins, which leads to a euphoric sensation. But, that’s not all. As you know, some types of music can also help release negative emotions. Thus, if you’re feeling a bit blue, you can simply play an upbeat song and dance your way to a better mood.
However, joining a Zumba or any dance classes has an added benefit. Keep in mind that doing isolated activities is not ideal if you’re feeling lonely and depressed. Instead, you have to opt for group workouts. Remember, socializing with other people is another great way to relieve stress and forget your worries.
5. Walking or Hiking
If you’re feeling sad and disheartened, the simplest action you can do to feel better is to go out and walk. As you know, walking will not only help clear your mind. As an aerobic workout, it can also trigger your body’s production of happy hormones.
Aside from that, according to a study, your brain will produce more serotonin (mood-lifting chemical) if you get enough sunlight. Thus, you can already improve your mood by going out on a warm and sunny day.
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you can also try hiking. Aside from getting some fresh air, being in nature can help promote pleasant sensations and reduce negative emotions such as fear, anger, and stress.
Overall, these mood-lifting exercises will certainly help bring forth a positive outlook on your life. When choosing the right workout, you should always choose a comfortable activity that you can do regularly.