by Heather Burgoyne, Owner, Soar Pilates
The concept of working out to boost your mood is not new. There have been numerous studies proving it to be true.
But that doesn’t mean you need to hit the treadmill for 30 to 45 minutes and then power through reps upon reps of heavy weights and a bazillion crunches for another hour. By all means, if that is what you like, you do you! I’m just here to say, you can do a little less and maybe think of exercise in a different way.
Studies have suggested endorphins (those are your happy feel good hormone!) begin to release into our bodies within 30 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity workouts. With that endorphin release, you can notice a relief of pain due to increased blood flow circulation to muscles and joints: A release of stress and anxiety as mentally you have connected to your body and likely forgotten about your “to do list” at least for a moment in time. As well as a euphoric emotional sensation as you accomplished a goal.
Let’s not forget about group exercise. It has been shown working out in groups, boosts your happiness as well. Mentally we have committed to someone (a friend or instructor) to show up, which sometimes is half the battle.
It can ignite a sense of healthy competition to do just one more rep or hold a pose for just a moment longer. Perhaps most important, if we have learned anything over the last year and a half, is that we all need and yearn for community. So grab your friend, find your favorite fitness studio, and workout alongside your neighbor and build strength through wellness and community.
Besides working out, you can also release endorphins by getting a massage. Chances are if you’re physical, your body could use a rest day to allow the microscopic tears in your muscle tissue to repair and rebuild.
And speaking of self-care, have you ever had a facial? Not only do you have to lie completely still on a cozy bed, but you also can’t talk. Allow yourself time to shut down for a moment during your day – added bonus, you’re essentially toning and tightening your face, which we all know we want.
The most important thing about your workout (whether physical, mental or spiritual) is that it exists. You did it!