Ever have those days where you’re just not motivated to workout, but you do it anyway? And afterwards you have a burst of energy and your whole day just seems brighter, happier, and overall more productive?
That’s a little reaction caused by chemicals in our body known as endorphins. Endorphins improve natural immunity and reduce our perception of pain. Exercise also triggers the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which may directly improve our mood.
Regularly exercising is not only great for our bodies health but for our emotional and mental health as well. Some studies have even shown that exercise could even serve as a replacement for those taking antidepressants for mild to moderate depression.
So, we know that exercise is good for our emotional health – but how much exercise do we really need to see the effects on our mood? Experts suggest we only need half an hour to an hour of moderate exercise, like brisk walking, five to seven days a week. Regularly exercising is also a great way to boost your self-confidence, distract your mind from worries, and help you make new friends.
So, next time you’re starting to feel a little down, try going on an evening
(or morning, for you early birds) walk and really practice being in the moment.
Not only does exercise really help improve your overall mood, getting the proper nutrients to fuel your body can make a huge difference too.
When your body gets the nutrition it needs, you end up being able to maintain higher energy levels that will help you maintain regular exercise. And eating a variety of healthy foods is important because what we eat directly effects our brains. Carbohydrates increase our serotonin – the happy chemical – which is why some of us crave ALL THE CARBS when we’re under stress. Healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids) also influence our brain processes because they become part of the membranes of brain cells.
Pretty cool, right?
If you find yourself feeling “low” throughout the day, try changing the timing of your meals. And try to stick to healthy snacks (we’ve got lots of options), and eat nutrient-dense meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and see what happens.
In conclusion, if you find yourself having a rough go of things lately, make it a point to get out and be active whether it’s by yourself, with friends or family. Go for a walk, take a yoga class, or try something new. Afterwards, replenish your body with nutritious food and I’ll bet you start feeling better (and no; enjoying some chocolate from time to time on the sofa won’t kill you).
There are a lot of things that cause stress in our daily lives, so be patient with yourself and take the time to breathe, be active, let go, and recharge.
By: Samantha Thayer / Photo cred: Clara Mo /Location: rebirth fitness