Boost Your Mood in 2 Minutes
There is good news for Canadians whose long commutes to work and long working hours mean they know only too well that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. A boosted mood – and improved physical fitness – are only 2 minutes away.
According to research, shorter exercise sessions lasting anywhere between 2 minutes and 10 minutes, known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), has been shown to not only benefit the body, but the mind also. Endorphins are released during the sessions, which leads to a greater sense of well-being, as well as less stress, and less anger. Many can be done indoors or out, which makes them perfect for when you are busy doing something else, such as studying, or playing games at a casino online, and simply need to clear your head.
Take the Stairs
Canada’s McMaster University published research that offers a whole new appreciation of stairways. Even climbing a few stairs each day can make a different to fitness levels, which means the activity also offers the feel-good factor.
If you are used to taking the elevator, you might want to start with a few stairs each day, and slowly increase the number, according to your capacity.
Get Some Fresh Air
Fresh air and sunshine is sometimes all it takes to boost your mood. According to Essex University research, a 2-minute walk in a park was enough to make more than 70 percent of participants feel good.
Aside from the physical exercise, you also get the benefit of getting into the sunshine, which is essential for the absorption of vitamin D.
Plank Where You Can
A few years ago, you couldn’t log into a social media account without seeing photos of brave souls planking pretty much anywhere they could. More than being a challenge that went viral, it is also a great way to work your core.
Lie face-down on the ground, then lift yourself up with your toes and your hands or forearms, being sure to keep your shoulders and hips level.
Salute the Sun
Traditionally practiced by yogis at sunrise, the sun salutation is a sequence of various yoga asanas (poses or exercises). Start off by standing up straight in the mountain pose; bring your hands into the prayer posture in front of your chest.
Raise your arms above your head, then, keeping your legs straight if possible, bend forwards, and touch the ground with your fingertips. Lift your head, and ensure your back is straight and flat.
Put your palms flat on the floor, step back, and lower yourself into the plank pose. Lower your chest, knees, and chin onto the floor. Keeping your pelvis and legs on the floor, straighten your arms and lift your torso up into the cobra pose. Raise yourself into an A-frame forward bend, keeping your head down, your arms and legs straight, and your palms and feet flat on the floor.
Step forward into a forward bend in which you keep your back flat and straight, then stand up straight, and raise your arms above your head. Bring your hands down into to the prayer pose in front of your chest, and then lower them to your sides, so that you are in mountain pose again.
Squat Your Way to Wellness
2 minutes of squats each day is a great way to improve lower body strength, as it works not only your core, but your thighs, calves, hamstrings, and glutes too. They are also a good way to improve your mood.
Stand up straight, and keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Keep your head level, look straight in front of you, and lower yourself down into a squat.
Raise yourself into a standing position, and repeat several times. If you have access to elastic exercise bands or dumb bells, you can use them in variations on the classic squat.
Mood-Enhancing Mountain Climbers
The cardiovascular exercise known as mountain climbers gives your core, legs, and arms a great workout. Get into the plank position, raising your arms slightly if you need to, and bring your right and then left knee to your chest, one after another, as quickly as you can.
Do one or more of these 2-minute exercises every day, and enjoy better physical and mental health and well being.