The Best Exercises for When You're Feeling Sad
Feelings of sadness can quickly get in the way of fitness goals, lowering motivation to train. Even doing simple physical activities like making bed and preparing a healthy breakfast, don't be at the top of your priority list when your heart and mind are out of whack.
When you're in a bad mood, prioritizing exercise can work to your advantage. Exercising can help you get out of the sadness and turn your emotions into something more optimistic.
According to a comprehensive study on exercise and mental health, researchers found that exercise can actually change the way the brain works and decrease depression and anxiety.
The following five exercises have great potential to improve your mood, increasing your motivation for physical strength and then mental strength.
30 minutes of meditation + 30 minutes of walking
Spending approximately 60 minutes in a divided session of meditation and cardio can significantly alleviate depression and ruminative thinking, suggests a study from Translational Psychiatry.
To follow the same approach that the researchers took with the study participants, spend 20 minutes practicing sitting meditation.
Then, for the next 10 minutes, walk slowly and focus your attention on your feet as you transition from one foot to the other. This allows blood to flow to the extremities before beginning the aerobic portion of the workout.
After the slow warm-up and meditation period, walk for 30 minutes, reaching 50 to 70% of your maximum heart rate. (The researchers recommend a five-minute warm-up and cool-down during this 30-minute portion of cardio.)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say you can estimate your heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. The result is yours Maximum age-related heart rate.
30 minute Tai Chi session
According to a peer-reviewed study published in The Lancet Psychiatry, mindfulness physical activity like tai chi can deliver optimal changes in mental health - even more so than high-impact exercise.
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art practiced around the world for its health benefits. The exercise follows a series of slow, gentle movements, using a combination of breathing, mind, and physical activity in the hope of achieving inner peace.
Tai Chi training programs vary because there are no official standards, but all practices are designed to strengthen muscles and improve blood flow.
The National Health Service recommends beginning Tai Chi practice by attending a class or participating in a free trial session before enrolling in a course. You can find local classes through community recreation programs, gyms, and private instructors.
A series of Hatha Yoga movements
The positive effects of yoga on mental health are well documented. In a systematic review of yoga aimed at improving sadness and depressive symptoms, yoga, most commonly hatha yoga (a type of yoga that teaches physical postures), was able to reduce feelings of depression.
The following five hatha yoga poses are helpful in fighting sadness, which you can do in series or on your own:
Seated forward bends, like Child Pose, can soothe and bring a sense of peace to your body. The pose opens your torso and allows you to feel more connected to your breathing pattern. This is also a popular resting posture in almost all yoga practices.
Downward facing dog
Downward Facing Dog functions as an inverted stance that can move pressure toward the crown of the head, stabilizing your mood and emotions. (Inverted poses have the head below the heart.) For the uninitiated, remember to keep weight on your legs and bend your knees if your hamstrings are not stretched.
Chest expansion poses open your heart so that you feel happy and confident. 10 In bridge pose, you lie down with your knees bent as you lift your hips. This allows your chest to expand from the inward position and creates a better posture, building a sense of confidence in your mind and keeping feelings of sadness under control.
The ultimate relaxation pose is the Corpse Pose, also known as the Relaxation Pose or Savasana. It is the final posture at the end of almost all yoga practices. You must spend five to 10 minutes lying down in the pose to reap the full benefits.
Headstand - an advanced movement
Sirsasana, or bedside pose (for the more advanced yoga devotee), is an investment that can help resist depression, creating a positive effect on the emotional center and helping to reduce the production of cortisol, known as the hormone of stress.
The pose also energizes the body because it uses various parts of the body: shoulders, head, hamstrings, spine, and core. The headstand also requires general balancing skill throughout the body.
If standing on your stomach is challenging for your current yoga level, you can modify the movement by practicing against a wall or using a spotter to grab your feet and legs.
10 minute Balance Routine
In a systematic review by the Journal of Happiness Studies on the relationship between exercise and happiness, researchers found that just 10 minutes of physical activity improved mood. In randomized clinical trials, researchers found that balance exercises were effective in achieving these intense emotions.
Balance exercises that can provide optimal happiness gains include:
Walk from heel to toe
You can begin this simple balance exercise by walking forward, from heel to toe, in a neutral, stable position, with your head up and your eyes looking forward 10 to 12 feet, repeating five times. Similar to chest expansion poses in yoga, walking from heel to toe opens the heart and makes you aware of your posture for added confidence.
Walks with your feet
Walking 10 steps with your toes off the floor can help you train different leg muscles. You should repeat this exercise for a few minutes. If you feel any tension in your feet, limit yourself to a few steps.
In a study of balance exercises such as toe walking, researchers found that a balance training program strengthened self-efficacy and walking speed, but even better, participants found the exercises fun and enjoyable.
This exercise starts by sitting in a chair and, without any help, you get up by pushing your feet to achieve balance. This sit-up movement involves your core, hips and legs. You must repeat this 10 times.
While this is an uncomplicated move, you will find neurological health benefits, according to published research. Standing up keeps your brain engaged and focused on movement; it also improves blood circulation and provides oxygen to the brain.
Straight leg lifts
To begin a straight-leg raise, keep your abdomen engaged and your knees straight as you lift one leg back. You should strive to keep your knee straight as your thigh comes off the floor. Hold your leg for two seconds and then lower it. You can do this exercise for 10 to 15 repetitions and then switch to the opposite leg.
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), adding balance exercises, such as lifting your legs straight, can improve your overall energy expenditure and increase your ability to do what you love.
50-minute nature walk
A study of the health benefits of exercise and nature suggests heading to the nearest green hills when you're feeling depressed.
The researchers measured changes in positive and negative affect, anxiety, and perceived stress among participants before and after the following: a 50-minute walk on a forest trail, a 50-minute walk on a busy road, and a period of performance of typical activities. of daily life. The results showed that walking in the forest provided the greatest improvement in psychological state.
To put your safety first in the forest, the CDC recommends:
- Choose trails that are shady or near streams during hot weather.
- Bring water. In cold weather, you will need to drink more.
- Take a friend with you for safety in numbers (and the mental health benefits of friendship).
- Use help. A cane can take some of the pressure off your legs and knees.
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