LOW MOOD? HERE’S HOW TO FIX IT
There’s always a good reason to hit the gym. Not only we’re working towards a better body but also towards a healthier mind. Studies have shown that exercise improves mental health. We all know about the benefits of exercise – increased muscle tone, cardiovascular health, reduced risk of diabetes and other health conditions. But that’s not all!
Regular exercise has shown to boost our mood decreasing the number of days per month we feel low and miserable! But how is this explained?
During physical activity our bodies release chemicals like serotonin, endorphins and dopamine which are responsible for our mood. In essence, these chemicals activate happiness and we keep coming back for more! Feeling great, improved cognitive function and general wellbeing are just some of the benefits we can enjoy from this process.
So, how often and for how long should we exercise? Too much exercise is also not a good idea. Working out strenuously for too long and too often can actually do the opposite which is stressing the body by not allowing it to recover. Add lack of sleep and stress and you run the risk of burning out. Working out for 45 minutes 3 to 5 times a week has shown to provide great physical and mental health benefits.
Have you heard the phrase “Go Harder Or Go Home” ? It’s true that in order to achieve results at the gym is important that you push yourself. But do it in a way that you enjoy, that makes you feel good while achieving your goals all injury free. Harder and longer workouts are not necessarily better. The quality of your gym sessions is far more important in combination with good nutrition. Make sure you end your week feeling energised and invigorated from your gym sessions and good eating habits and not feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus!
Exercise is not only about the gym. Body movement done in ways you enjoy will always boost your mood. You can incorporate mental wellness into a physical routine by taking up yoga or pilates, simply walking or dancing but any kind of physical exercise is good for your mind.
We’ve said it a million times before, but it’s so important to eat well. Some really important mood boosting nutrients are iron, magnesium, and omega 3. You can get these from green leafy vegetables and meat, almonds and cashews, and oily fish. We know life can get hectic at times, but make sure you’re eating balanced meals at regular times. You’d be amazed at how much of a difference it can make.
To really get the most out of your workouts and gym membership, why not get a personal trainer? They’ll help keep you motivated during the winter months and will show you the most efficient way to work out. What’s more, they will provide you with safe and effective workouts preventing you from injuring yourself or over-doing it and burning out your motivation. Being experts in nutrition and exercise, you can rest assure a good personal trainer will design a personalised plan that will suit your lifestyle.
A proper exercise regime will also help you sleep at night. Lack of sleep is one of the most commonly reported symptoms of low mood and one of the most common contributors to the same. If you struggle with your sleep try exercise, regular bedtimes, turning off electronics at least an hour before bedtime, turning down the central heating, and buying a new mattress.