Reset Your Mood in 30 Minutes (or less) With These Upbeat Workouts

Have you been in a funk lately? Not really feeling like yourself? If even your favorite workouts aren't really helping you boost your mood, it might be time to reset. By challenging yourself, changing your scenery, practicing gratitude, and boosting energy — you can use exercise to elevate your mood.

Have you been in a funk lately? Not really feeling like yourself? If even your favorite workouts aren't really helping you boost your mood, it might be time to reset. By challenging yourself, changing your scenery, practicing gratitude, and boosting energy — you can use exercise to elevate your mood.

Let's take a look at some awesome workout — all of which you can do in 30 minutes or less — that can help reset your mood:

Decrease Stress with a Simple Sun Salutation

Feeling stressed?

Researchers found that 20 minutes of flowing through the Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) can help decrease stress and enhance feelings of well-being. During the course of a sun salutation flow, you'll go through several poses that stretch your spine, wake up your core muscles, and flood your body with oxygen. Here's how to do a twenty-minute flow:

  • Begin in mountain pose, standing with your fit hip distance apart
  • Inhale - sweep your arms up above your head
  • Exhale - dive down into a forward fold
  • Inhale - lift your head and neck to a halfway lift
  • Exhale - lower your head, then step back with both legs into a plank
  • Inhale - lower your body, then lift your head, neck, and chest in an upward dog
  • Exhale - downward facing dog, and take a few deep breaths here
  • Inhale - step back into standing position, lifting to flat back
  • Exhale - forward fold
  • Inhale - stand up and reach your hands to the sky
  • Exhale - bring your hands back to your chest, then repeat the flow.

If you want to make it slightly more challenging, add a lunge with alternating legs within the sun salutation, making sure to emphasize each moment with your breath. (Check out this image of the sun salutation from JasonYoga if you're having trouble visualizing the flow.)

Runners & Cyclers: Change Your Scenery to Boost your Mood

In most cases, you only need 30 minutes of running in order to reap all the incredible cardio benefits. But if even your daily run isn't perking you up, it might be time for a change of scenery. In fact, taking your run off the treadmill and out onto the trail is a great way to boost your mood. Researchers have found that spending time outdoors in green spaces has been shown to support mental health.

To get started, simply think outside the box when planning your next run. Instead of using the treadmill or running around the same neighborhood at the same time of day, switch it up. Ask your friends if they have any favorite routes in the area, and look into any parks or nature centers nearby that you might be able to take advantage of. If you need a little extra help, apps like MapMyRun can help you discover new routes to bring some excitement to your workout.

Tip: The same goes if you're a cycler. If you do most of your cycling inside in the gym, see if taking your ride outside can help boost your mood. Explore new paths and tracks. Go slightly outside of your comfort zone. Make every workout a mini adventure—  a chance to make each workout a mini adventure.

HIIT Training: Powerful Mind & Body Benefits

High Intensity Interval training has been shown in studies to stimulate BDNF, also known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor. BDNF is a specialized protein that works to repair brain cells, regulate mood, and help cognitive function. As if the cognitive and mood regulating effects weren't enough, it's also been shown to be incredibly effective at boosting your metabolism and burning fat. And perhaps most importantly of all, HIIT is extremely challenging. It will get you right out of your comfort zone and help you nail down a feeling of accomplishment.

So what exactly is HIIT? It's defined as alternating short bursts of intense activity with downtime. So while each exercise during HIIT is only sustained for 20 to 90 seconds, you'll be pushing your body to its max each time. Then, you make sure to rest for a set period of time.  If you're just beginning, you can rest for about twice the amount of time that you workout. As you advance, you'll probably be able to maintain an equal ratio between resting and working out. Here's some ideas for your HIIT workout:

  • Mountain climbers  (in plank position, bring each knee quickly up to your chest in quick succession.)
  • Ascend and descend stairs in your home or apartment.
  • If you're outside, sprint in extremely intense intervals.
  • Jump squats
  • Side lunges

The beauty of a HIIT workout is that you can pick several different high intensity exercises and alternate them throughout the session. Within twenty minutes (or even less) of HIIT, you'll definitely feel your blood pumping and your heart — and you'll never get bored.

Work Through Emotions & Trigger Endorphins with Kickboxing

If you're feeling especially tense — and like you can't find the proper outlet for your emotions — then you might want to mix it up with kickboxing. As opposed to the other workouts on this list (which can be done alone, if desired), we recommend that for this particular workout you actually go to a group class. Check out some classes at your local gym or fitness center. See if some of your friends want to go as well — and prepare to sweat.

Not only is kickboxing an incredible way to build strength and stamina — and an unconventional way to get a cardio workout — it can also make a huge difference in your mood. This is because kickboxing is often done in a group setting as a class, and group exercise has been shown to enhance the effects of endorphins in your body. Exercising in groups is, in fact, super powerful for your mood. It's been shown to help inspire and motivate — and can definitely help provide the mood boost you're looking for.

Make sure that you don't wear clothes that are too baggy, and choose a class that fits your needs. So if you're not quite ready to practice "contact" kickboxing, make sure you choose a class where you simply work on the moves in a group setting, without contact. Above all, allow yourself to get into the zone and enjoy yourself.

Bonus Mood-Boosting Tips

  1. Keep track. Keep a fitness journal to keep track of your workouts and mood. You might start to a see a correlation between working out and feeling better — which will help inspire you to keep going.
  2. Get the right playlist. Music can be extremely helpful in keeping you motivated throughout your workouts. Make sure to tailor your music to your workout plan, keep it fresh and fun, and always have some tunes queued up to go.
  3. Supplement with Ashwaganda. The powdered root of the Ashwaganda plant can be very powerful in promoting balance. When it comes to your mood, supplementing with this herb can help support you when you're feeling fatigued, anxious, or down.
  4. Meditate. It's important to keep your mind healthy as well. Make meditation a part of your daily routine — it's been shown to ease depression and anxiety, enhancing your overall feeling of well-being.

When it comes to working out, it's important to switch up your regular routine every now and then. If you're feeling down, you can easily boost your mood by trying something new and challenging. Check out your local pilates classes. Look into taking a Tai Chi class with friends. Engage in seasonal activities like snowboarding and skiing. No matter what, keep challenging yourself.

At RoamUSA, we're all about taking your adventures to the next level with the best gear and supplements available. Feel free to contact us if you have any question!

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