*By: Christi Shingara*
Years of exercising has taught me a few things such as staying healthy, maintaining my weight and probably the most important thing — boosting my mood. The best time for me to exercise is early in the morning before I go to work and in just those 20 minutes, it really gets me ready for the day. It is almost as good as that first cup of coffee in the morning. But I can’t lie…There are some days it is hard to get up and exercise, but I know the payoff at the end is totally worth it. I also notice when I get in a good cardio workout, especially outside, it changes my mood for the better. The combination of breathing fresh air, being out in nature and breaking a good sweat is a game changer for me. This is just not a feeling though, there is real science behind this notion that exercise boosts your mood.
An article at diginityhealth.org titled, Exercise and Depression: How Cardio Can Help Your Mood found in multiple studies that cardio workouts produce endorphins that do help boost your mood. Another article featured in Psychology Today entitled, Can 21 Minutes of Aerobic Exercise Boost Your Mood?, stated that exercise also helps reduce anxiety and stress. One reason is due to improved concentration during exercise, which allows us to not focus constantly on our daily worries. Instead, we focus more on breathing, getting through the workout, and if we are listening to our favorite music, that also contributes to helping us “escape” and leaving our worries behind.
Serotonin levels in the brain are another thing that gets a boost when we exercise, which also helps with putting us in a better mood. Exercise, Depression, and the Brain featured on healthline.com talks about the science behind exercise and its benefits. Also, the article mentions working out with others has a positive effect on mood. Hopefully, more of that kind of working out can be done post pandemic.
Regardless of what the articles say, it is best to get out there and try it for yourself. Feeling like I can take on the world is one of the main reasons why I make exercise a priority in my life.
Below is a great workout start out with: