Feeling Better Yet? Boost your Endorphins Exercising
When you think of mental health boosters, what comes to mind? Chocolate? Bubble bath? Skydiving? What about exercise? Yup, exercise! While it may not seem like a particularly mood-boosting activity (In fact, the mere thought of exercise might make you balk!), once you get started, you’ll find that you feel better both physically and mentally! Here’s more on how exercise is one of the best mood boosters there is.
How does exercise boost your mood?
When you exercise, the exertion causes your body to release hormones and neurotransmitters. This includes endorphins, which cause you to feel good and be less stressed. Beyond this, studies have even shown that exercise has a more far-reaching, mood-boosting effect: preventing major depressive disorder. To get this benefit, one study said you need just 15 minutes of running a day or one hour of walking a day.
Exercise has other ways in which it helps you feel good too! When you exercise, you know you’re doing something good for yourself, so that further boosts your mood. Exercise also improves your quality of sleep. And as we’re sure you know, there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to get you through the day!
Yoga (which you know we love!) in particular has been shown by studies to help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Yoga classes (or any classes) have the additional benefit of being held in a community setting, allowing you to socialize.
How can I get those benefits?
Although there have been studies about how often and how long to exercise in order to get these benefits, the truth is, any little amount can help to perk you up. Start with just 20-30 minutes once or twice a week and increase from there. Ultimately, it’s ideal to get about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day or with a rest day or two.
Want to amplify those benefits? Try exercising outdoors and taking advantage of the additional mood-boosting effects of fresh air and sunshine (helps the body produce vitamin D which is essential for good mental health!). Plus, who doesn’t want to work out with birds chirping in the background?
So lace up those running shoes, grab your hiking stick, or roll out that yoga mat and get going! You might find that once you start, it becomes pretty addicting!