Being in a good mood always makes for a great workout. But remember all of those times you rocked your sweat sesh when you have unleashed all that stress you had? This is because there’s a warranted connection between your mood and exercise, and it impacts your performance in workouts.
“Stress levels are a prime reason why our performance can be either helped or hindered as stress can directly correlate to our performance in workouts,” says health and performance psychologist, Leah Lagos, PsyD. Having high-stress levels impacts your heart rate variability, which is a measure of how effectively your body addresses and recovers from stress. Individuals with a low heart rate variability are more susceptible to illness, psychological conditions like depression, and impairments in self-regulating. High heart rate variability is associated with a state of resilience, adaptiveness, and better health. High and low heart rate variability can vary from person to person. To know if your HRV is high or low on a given day, you need to continuously monitor it and compare it to a given baseline. You can do this by measuring it first thing every morning; you can identify periods of stress and guide you through planning your day and optimizing your health. We can improve our physical resilience and gain greater control over our nervous system and enhance cognitive control. While monitoring HRV can be a behind-the-scenes look at how our body responds to fluid stress throughout our life, which can help inform when to put the pedal on the gas and when to break.
Researchers have found that exercise instantly results in a flow of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. This can help explain why exercise is so frequently studied in regards to anxiety and depression. Studies have found it to be an important way to help you boost your mood. Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of activity equivalent to brisk walking each day. There are times when we are carrying intense emotions, like stress or frustration, and use physical exercise as a channel to release that. In other words, our mood can serve as a powerful force. Research backs up the fact that exercise can release a healthy dose of feel-good emotions, resulting in endorphins, which we know can have a significant impact on our stress levels. We could be sad, stressed, anxious, or happy. Still, once we get into the workout, we can yield positive emotional benefits as long as you’re fully present.