The endorphins your brain releases when you exercise naturally elevate your mood. But it is possible to harness these good feelings so that they last well beyond that final mile on the treadmill. These are some of our favorite ways to turn your workout into a thoroughly enjoyable ongoing hobby that lifts your mood and improves both your physical and mental wellness.
Getting outside and experiencing natural beauty as you exercise calms your mind and acts as a great mood elevator. Kayaking, SUP surfing, hiking and rock-climbing are all fairly intense activities that don’t seem so taxing when you’re immersed in the splendor of nature. These outdoor exercises not only tone your body, they also invigorate your spirit–which is one of the reasons they occupy a central role in the workout programs at nearly every holistic spa.
Dancing is so much fun that it’s easy to forget how many calories you’re burning. Whether you’re into hip-hop, ballet, jazz, ballroom, breakdancing, salsa or any other type of boogie, dancing is a full-body cardio workout that gives you an excuse to get dressed up and get moving. Don’t be surprised if you’re still on a high long after you hang up your dancing shoes.
Anything with fun friends by your side
Sharing a connection with others has been proven to elevate your mood, so merging those positive group feelings with a workout goal can create an inspiring feedback loop that provides an ongoing mood lift. Start your own a workout club with the goal of completing a walk-a-thon or half-marathon. Or, visit a weight loss spa and surround yourself with likeminded people who share your goal of getting healthier. Tap into that shared excitement and experience a lasting emotional boost.
Not all exercise requires high-intensity training. Try something softer and more mentally focused, like yoga and tai-chi. Many eastern-inspired workouts are often featured during wellness programs at a holistic spa or are offered at studios in your neighborhood. By slowing down and staying focused on the present moment during your meditative workout, you block out stress and anxiety. When you’re done, don’t be surprised to discover that your worries have dissipated and have been replaced with a calm, clear mindset.
Something totally different
Let loose and express your creative side by trying a workout that differs completely from anything you’re used to. Trampoline workouts, fencing, aqua spinning and aerial silk classes are a few creative and unconventional workouts that will stimulate your mind as you sculpt your body. Go in with an open mind and emerge exhilarated.
Whether you work with professional trainers at a weight loss spa or simply want to get more from your at-home exercise routine, selecting a workout to improve your mood is a fast and easy way to shake off stress and enhance your sense of wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to mix things up and try something new. You might end up improving your outlook in addition to your physique.