What is the Best Workout to Uplift the Mood?
What is the Best Workout to Uplift the Mood?
Unlike many people think, people with autoimmune diseases not only can – but should – exercise regularly. I have been exercising for years now and see a massive difference in lupus symptoms and my health as a whole. Even when I am in pain, I take my time to sleep and rest, take a Celebrex, do what I can – stretch, bike, a light yoga sequence, or a short walk. It helps.
If you are blessed and don’t have an autoimmune condition, exercise is mandatory for anyone seeking a better life. It impacts our body and mental health positively as well.
In addition, different types of movement have additional positive effects on your state of mind. Follow this training roadmap to lift up your spirits:
- When You’re Feeling Down and Out: Steady-State Cardio
When you’re feeling down, a high-energy workout is most often the last thing you’re in the mood for. Good news: you don’t necessarily need one.
While doing an easy run or a brisk walk may not overwhelm you with euphoric endorphins, it can push the game with other feel-good chemicals, like dopamine and serotonin, which are true mood boosters.
Whichever type of cardio you choose, keep it for at least 10 minutes, which is when the effects tend to appear.
- When You’re Feeling Frustrated: HIIT
Raise your hand if you have already taken out the anger on a punching bag or soccer ball. That’s because “getting it all out” during exercise initiates a chemical reaction – a trio of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine – that can help you crush frustrating feelings. In addition, the focus needed to finish a challenging workout can take your mind off problems.
Just be careful not to push too far beyond your limit, as exercise is still a form of stress on your body, so when things get tough, that sweet relief at the end may not seem worth it, leaving you upset. If you’re still discovering your limits, a study found that increasing your heart rate above 90 percent of the maximum for more than 40 minutes a week is related to irritability and can increase your risk of injury.
- When You’re Feeling Super Stressed: Weightlifting
At these times, your mind is moving much faster than usual. Strength training can be particularly terrifying and bring you back to the present moment, especially when working out with heavyweight.
To lift weights safely and efficiently, you must be so aware of your shape and the feel of your body that your brain doesn’t have much space to think about anything else. Even if you’re not standing up in a strong man style, moving slowly and tuning in to the group of active muscles (for example, feeling your biceps contract with each wave) can help calm feelings of anxiety, she says.
Whatever you are working on, slow down by counting the stages of each repetition. And one more thing: resistance training can reduce overall levels of anxiety symptoms, according to research, as it can lead to better regulation of the system that handles all the hormones of happiness, which could help you cope better with stress over time.
- When You’re Feeling Self-Critical: Hatha Yoga
Have you ever heard of powerful postures that give an instant surge of strength, energy, and confidence? Researchers have found that expansive postures (think about standing upright with your hands on your hips) can have a physiological and behavioral effect that can increase your sense of power and risk tolerance. It turns out that yoga postures, especially when held for just 2 minutes, can also be beneficial, boosting your self-esteem and energy, according to other research.
So, when you need some TLC, be kind and experience a flow of Hatha. This practice emphasizes static postures, giving you enough time to settle into your feeling of strength and stability.
- When You’re Feeling Tired and Cranky: Dance Cardio
Whether you’re exhausted from looking at the computer all day or just woke up feeling groggy and moody, a quick dance may be just what you need to put some energy into your stride.
In contrast to a steady-state treadmill run, dance involves complex movements that require considerable effort to learn and use properly. Learning how to combine dance steps requires practice, concentration, and memory, resulting in proven processing speed. Not to mention that dancing to your favorite tunes is, for most people, fun – so much so that a change of mood can happen in just 10 minutes. I loved the dance challenge some of the girls with lupus posted on Instagram. Did you see it?
Which one do you feel like doing right now? I am horrible at dancing, by the way. Try some of these exercises this week and see how they work differently in your muscles and emotions!