Everybody gets moody sometimes, and it is completely normal since moods are a natural part of your emotional rhythm.1 However, chronic mood swings or sudden shifts in your mood could be attributed to a mental health condition that requires immediate medical attention2, so what actions can you take to improve your mood?
Research discusses the positive influence of exercise on boosting mood and alleviating mental health issues such as clinical depression. Individuals who are diagnosed with mental health issues may experience a loss of interest in these activities, requiring assistance from Exercise Physiologists to ensure they keep track of their program, with the addition of maintaining a safe exercise regimen.
Our exercise program in Hurstville can demonstrate specific exercises to help boost your mood. But, before we get into the procedures for determining the best exercise for mood, let us look at the effects of exercise on mood below.
How Can I Uplift My Mood?
There are many ways to uplift your mood, and the techniques that work best for you may depend on your individual preferences and circumstances. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Practice gratitude: Take some time each day to think about what you’re grateful for. This can help shift your focus away from negative thoughts and toward more positive ones.
- Exercise: Physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Even a short walk or a few minutes of stretching can help improve your mood.
- Connect with others: Spending time with friends or loved ones can help improve your mood and reduce feelings of loneliness or isolation.
- Get outside: Being in nature can have a calming effect and help reduce stress. Take a walk in the park, go for a hike, or simply sit outside and enjoy the sunshine.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, can help you relax and reduce stress.
How Exercise Can Improve Your Mood?
It is important to understand that exercise is not a direct treatment for clinical depression and other mental health illnesses. However, there is a lot of research on the relationship between exercise and mood that looks at how short-term exercise affects mood and cognitive functions.3 Here are some of the following effects of exercise on mood:
Exercise can release happy hormones that improve self-esteem
Moods can often be affected by an individual’s self-esteem. Exercise improves your mood by releasing a hormone otherwise known as endorphins, a chemical in your brain that helps with the reduction of pain and improves self-esteem.
Exercise can reduce stress and improve your sleep
Stress often leads to a lack of sleep that eventually affects a person’s mood, resulting in other mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Exercise has many benefits for the body, like relieving stress and improving mental health, as well as improving the health of the digestive, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems.4
Exercise can improve your mental capacity, helping you to focus
Lack of focus affects your daily activities, especially if you are working. Exercise is one of the many activities that can improve cognitive functions, allowing for better focus, mental acuity and developing neuroplasticity—the ability of the brain to enhance itself through increased blood flow and brain-derived protein.
Exercise can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness
Although exercise has many physical benefits, the social aspect of it can lift your mood significantly. Going to the gym, attending a workout class, or meeting with an Exercise Physiologist allows you to interact with people, reducing feelings of isolation or loneliness.
Exercise can help improve your Cardiovascular health
An improved cardiovascular system allows you to perform tasks more effectively and can help prevent frequent stress and exhaustion, which is understandable, especially for people who have daily responsibilities. Exercise, such as aerobics, can elevate your mood while enhancing lung and heart health. 5
Although exercise has these effects, it is important to note that “more exercise” does not necessarily lead to greater happiness, and there is a risk of overdoing it, which can result in a high level of stress hormones, otherwise known as “cortisol,” which can elicit negative effects in your body and in your mood.
Exercise routines to improve your mood
Exercise is a great way to boost your mood, but it’s important to choose a routine that you will enjoy and that will encourage you to stay committed in the long run. Here Are some recommended exercise routines that you can try:
Cardiovascular and Aerobic Exercises
These exercises are great for getting your heart rate up and releasing endorphins. Activities such as jogging, swimming, cycling, and brisk walking are all good options.
If you prefer competitive sports, then consider playing soccer, tennis, or basketball. These can also be great for social interaction and cardiovascular workouts. High-intensity exercises like boxing or Crossfit can also improve your cardiovascular health and mood.
Yoga focuses on meditation, breathing, and physical postures. One of its fundamental teachings is relaxation, the release of tension, and the stretching of tight muscles.
However, if you have sustained an injury that prevents you from doing the exercise or activity you want, consider seeking the help of an Exercise Physiologist.
An Exercise Physiologist is a trained allied health professional who provides the highest level of clinical exercise intervention for effective rehabilitation and recovery. At Healthstin, we have an exercise physiology service in Hurstville that offers the most appropriate and safe exercises for people with acute and chronic conditions, injuries, and disabilities.
Healthstin is dedicated to helping people with disabilities lead more fulfilling lives, which is why we only employ the most qualified exercise physiologists. If you need an Exercise Physiologist in Hurstville, you can give us a call on 1300 090 931 or email us at email@example.com.
Disclaimer: The information is general and does not take into account your personal situation. This information is intended to show you the correct exercise technique and should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any medical condition. If your pain persists or you have difficulty performing exercise, see your experienced Exercise Physiologist for proper guidance on 1300 090 931.
1 Better Health Channel: Monitoring your mood: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/monitoring-your-mood#what-causes-moods (Status as of 15th of January, 2023)
2 Silvers, N. Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD (5th of December, 2019): What Can Cause Rapid Shifts in Mood? https://www.healthline.com/health/rapid-mood-swings (Status as of 15th of January, 2023)
3 Basso, Julia C. | Suzuki, Wendy A. (1st of January, 2017): The Effects of Acute Exercise on Mood, Cognition, Neurophysiology, and Neurochemical Pathways: A Review: https://content.iospress.com/articles/brain-plasticity/bpl160040#ref001 (Status as of 15th of January, 2023)
4 Mayo Clinic Staff (3rd of August, 2022): Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469
5 WebMD Reviewed by Brennan D. MD (27th of November, 2021): What Is Cardiovascular Endurance? https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/what-is-cardiovascular-endurance#091e9c5e821a47db-1-3 (Status as of: 15th of January, 2023)
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