Exercise and Improving Your Mood

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Exercise can be a great way to lift your mood and improve your emotions. When you exercise, your body feels more relaxed and calm. Find out some of the reasons and the best exercises to lift your mood and balance your emotions.

Why Exercise Improves Mood

When you engage in high-intensity exercise, your brain releases endorphins, the body's feel-good chemicals, which can result in the "runner's high" that joggers talk about.  In addition, after exercising you may feel a sense of accomplishment and your muscles will feel more relaxed. Thanks to your workout, you'll feel all that pent-up tension and stress in your muscles ease up.

Exercise and Emotions

While exercise is not, on its own, a treatment for clinical depression, studies show that it can help improve mood temporarily in depressed individuals. In fact, for people with mild or moderate depression, 30 minutes of intense exercise can be as effective as medication for improving mood. People who do not respond to depression medications may show an improvement in their mood when they exercise.

Types of Exercises to Improve Mood

  • Cardiovascular Exercises and Aerobics:​ Cardiovascular exercise and aerobics are great for creating the intensity required for the release of mood-raising endorphins in your body. And research shows that aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing have been shown to reduce depression and anxiety.
  • Yoga: Yoga, which originated thousands of years ago in India, is a system of holistic health and spiritual growth. In the west, the word "yoga" generally refers to hatha yoga (which focuses on meditation, breathing exercises and physical postures.) Practicing hatha yoga can teach you how to relax, release tension, stretch tight muscles, and even strengthen weak ones. Among the other styles of yoga are kripalu (which tends to be gentler), ashtanga (which is very athletic) and viniyoga (typically done in a therapeutic setting one-on-one.)
  • Tai chi: A traditional Chinese exercise that is practiced worldwide, tai chi can benefit anxiety and depression, and it has been shown to improve immune function as well as to increase the blood levels of feel-good endorphins.
  • When it comes to exercise, it's crucial that you pick something you enjoy. Cardiovascular exercise is great, but if you hate swimming, you won't stick with it. Among the leisure time aerobic activities, walking, hiking, and gardening often tend to be more enjoyable. are walking, And when an activity is more enjoyable, chances are better for long-term adherence.
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