Uplift your mood and make yourself happier with these 5 exercises

·3-min read
Boy hiking in Singapore's forest. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Boy hiking in Singapore's forest. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Planning and sticking to a regular exercise routine feels more like an exercise than the workout itself for many people. However, besides the obvious physical health benefits, regular exercise also helps you mentally, maintaining a happier outlook towards life and reducing stress.

The release of myokines, which makes one more resilient to stress and boost happiness, is evident in a study across 15 European countries, which showed that people are happier with just 10 minutes of daily exercise. Yahoo Life SEA has compiled a list of five different types of exercise you can easily add to your routine to help improve your mood and feel happier.

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1. Dancing

Sweat it out to your favourite tunes, or dance your heart out over zoom classes! Swedish researchers have noticed teen girls who took up dance classes have “improved their mental health and reported a boost in mood—positive effects that lasted up to eight months after the classes ended.”

If you want to learn certain dance choreography, it is also easy to find K-Pop dance practice videos on Youtube. Follow along with these K-Pop megastars, such as Korean boyband BTS’s Dynamite dance practice video, which has over 110 million views and brighten up your life today.

2. Yoga

Practising yoga is said to increase happiness as it reduces cortisol, the stress hormone, and its deep breathing techniques reduces anxiety in its practitioners.

According to YogaFit, the chest expansion yoga pose acts as an anxiety reducer and, in turn, help to make you happier. “Anxiety works in much the same way — your fears and worries hover around you all the time, preventing you from feeling confident and happy.”

3. Brisk Walking

Not only is brisk walking excellent in making you happy, but it is also an easy exercise to get started for those who had neglected their workout. It only takes 20 minutes of brisk walking before feel-good hormones, endorphins and dopamine, are released, improving your mood and making you happier.

A study has also shown that a 10-minute brisk walking and meditation can improve one’s mood state. Brisk walking helps to improve alertness and reduce fatigue, helping you to feel better as a whole.

A group of kids having fun playing soccer football on the dirt field. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
A group of kids having fun playing soccer football on the dirt field. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

4. Hiking

A level-up from brisk walking, hiking allows you to be surrounded by nature, which by itself is already a mood-lifter. There are plenty of park connectors and hiking trails, such as the Southern Ridges’ 10km connecting trail and the Rail Corridor, in Singapore, and it is a great routine to incorporate into your weekend workout.

Check out MacRitchie Reservoir Park with its beautiful scenery, Fort Canning Park’s lush greenery, and for those who want a bit more challenge, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve for a bit of trek.

5. Team Sports

While COVID-19 makes it challenging to regularly engage in team sports such as basketball and football, they are great in boosting one’s happiness, especially when playing with friends. Regular participation in team sports helps promote a sense of belonging, self-worth, and purpose for individuals, allowing them to build a support system and true friendships.

Studies have also shown that kids participating in team sports will help them have higher self-esteem and are less depressed. So remember to pencil this down for your post-pandemic exercise routine!

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