Feeling low? You will be shocked at how some simple movements can lift your mood! We all experience a low mood at some point, and sometimes it can feel never-ending. Scientific research has shown us the benefits of exercise time after time. Losing weight and toning your muscles are not the only benefits though – or even the most prominent. Endorphins, the hormones released into our body when we exercise, trigger a happy feeling for us, as well as lowering our sensitivity to pain.
It’s all very well telling you that you should be exercising, but you may be asking, where do I start if I want to positively affect my mood? Well, below are the moves that I find clear my head and raise my mood quickly and effectively that’ll also get YOU a huge step closer to brighter feelings. Read on for EXERCISE FIX: Get YOURS DAILY with these 5 Mood-Busting Moves!
1. Squat Kicks
This first move is a great way to get your heart rate up. It’s up to you to choose how low you want to squat, (we recommend butt to heels for a maximum full-body effect) and how high you want to kick. Whilst strengthening your thighs, you can even add a torso twist to really target your core!
Simply twist towards your kicking leg as you kick up. This move also helps your balance – it will be encouraging for you as this improves over time! Try starting with 10 kicks on each leg.
2. Mountain Climbers
Another heart rate raiser are Mountain Climbers. These tone your arms, abs, and calves. This move can be done with high impact, or you can go for low impact, by resting your foot down on the ground each time you crunch your knee towards your chest.
After doing these, you’ll enjoy the feeling of accomplishment – if you keep it up you can do more every single day. Try for 20 on each leg, alternating between low and high impact whenever you want to amp things up a notch!
3. Pop Squats
You’ll be surprised by how long you can keep these up for! Looking for an easy move that still gives you great benefits, of both fitness and mood? Then this is the one in my opinion!
If you need to, simply take the jump (pop) out and either do a calf raise – rise up onto your tiptoes – or step side to side. Squat down, bring your left leg to your right leg on the way up, and then squat down again, and bring your right leg to your left leg instead. Try to aim for a set of 15 reps.
This is one of my mood-boosting favourites. This move targets your abs as well as your mind, so challenge yourself with this move! It’s a hard one, but practice will make perfect. You can put your feet down on the floor to give yourself a rest – but, trust me, you’ll still feel the burn! Do 20 on each leg and feel that core of yours begin to tighten up!
5. Cobra Stretch
One of the best feelings after burning those abs is this move! Try to hold this for 20 to 30 seconds after you have done the above exercises or an ab workout, and you will feel that amazing stretch immediately.
Not only will this give your core a safe and gentle stretch, but you can take this opportunity to reflect on your workout, and feel your mind clear. Note how quickly that low mood takes flight, like a leaf in the wind!
You could try these moves for the suggested number of reps for 3 or 4 sets or rounds, it’s your choice! Remember that just as with the physique benefits of exercise, you won’t see benefits the first time you try it, but you’ll definitely always feel them!
As you can see, these moves have low-impact versions too, and they can all be done in a very small space, with no equipment required! Tackling your low moods with repetitions or over a 10-30 period of continuous activity is key. Try the above at least three times-a-week, or on days where you feel sluggish and you know you haven’t moved yourself much.
Research agrees that sitting still all day can be the root cause of a low mood – the human body was built to move, not to stay plonked down on the sofa for too long. Though it isn’t realistic for (most of) us to be active all day long, the benefits of putting as little as 10-30 minutes aside for exercise are just far too great to ignore.
With that said, for many people, a single exercise session is a fantastic insurance, guaranteed to shift or mobilize a low mood. So, why not give these a try? The sense of achievement you’ll feel after having a go by itself will lift your mood, let alone the endocrine and hormonal benefits you’ve now ignited to follow you all day! What have you got to say on the subject of mood and health? Let us know in the comments below or join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!