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Three exercises to help boost your mood

Let’s face it, we all could use help in the mood-boosting department from time to time (some days more than others). Life gets crazy, we get stressed and our overall mood suffers.

Exercise can be a great way to lift your mood and improve your ability to deal with stress. When you exercise, your body often feels more relaxed and calm, but there are mental benefits, too.

So, if you need an instant mood boost, you’re going to want to do one of these mood-boosting exercises. Not only will you walk away feeling much more positive, you’ll be working towards your fitness goals at the same time.

Calm of Beautiful Attractive Asian woman practice yoga Downward Facing dog or yoga Adho Mukha Svanasana pose to meditation with yoga in bedroom, Recreation in holidays concept. Picture: iStock

Yoga

Yoga is such an amazing form of exercise that really helps you relax and also helps stretch out those tired and sore muscles at the same time.

Yoga is a system of holistic health and spiritual growth which focuses on meditation, breathing and physical postures.

It may also help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

Aim for at least a few times a week, and if you can manage a quick yoga flow each morning, you may be surprised at what it can do for your mood and health.

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Weightlifting fitness man bodybuilding or powerlifting at outdoor gym. Bodybuilder doing barbell weight workout deadlift with heavy bar. Picture: iStock

Weightlifting

If you feel as though you just can’t focus and are feeling totally overwhelmed, pause and grab some weights. Lifting weights may improve cognitive function.

So, while you’re lifting those dumbbells and working on those sexy biceps and triceps, you may also walk away feeling a bit more focused and not so cranky as you power through the rest of your day.

Cardio fix

We can’t talk about mood-boosting exercises without talking about cardio.

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 of which have been shown to reduce depression and anxiety.

If you find yourself needing to clear your head and improve your mood, consider some cardio.

Now that you know about the best mood-boosting exercises, there’s something else you can do to prevent getting frazzled in the first place.

It all comes down to exercise timing.

Starting your day with a good sweat is an amazing way to support a better overall mood and help you kick butt all day long.

Why? Because exercise helps your brain makes more endorphins, which are those feel-good neurotransmitters which come on strong after a good workout.

So, it makes sense that getting a workout in before starting your day is a sure-fire way to keep your mood high.

Adding a fitness regime into your day-to-day life will not only boost your mood, but may just boost your health as well.

Next time you’re feeling stressed, frustrated, or just downright irritable, 20 to 30 minutes will take care of you.

*Article co-written with Thapelo Mowela.

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