Get Your WOD on For World Health Day 💪🏻
We’ve put together a 10 minute Home Workout video to help you get those happy chemicals released today. Scroll to the bottom to see the workout details!!
Does exercise really help reduce stress? 🧐
April is Stress Awareness Month and today (Tuesday 7th April) is World Health Day.
Today is all about supporting the NHS and we know that the best way we can do that is by staying home. We’re all dealing with a fair amount of stress at the moment and having to work out our ‘new normal’ while we are at home protecting the NHS. With that in mind, we wanted to take a look at some of the science behind how exercising at home can help us to reduce those unwanted feelings of stress.
Exercise plays an important part in stimulating areas of the brain that can become less responsive when we are feeling low, anxious or stressed out. Working out promotes the release of feel good brain chemicals which can have a positive impact on our mood and reduce our stress levels dramatically.
We’re all feeling the stress more than ever, so let’s get a bit of a sweat on today at home and spread some positive vibes. That happy feeling we get after a workout, sometimes called ‘The Runner’s High’ comes about because when we get blood pumping around our bodies, our brain is stimulated to start to release ‘happy’ chemicals such as: dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
So, what are happy chemicals?
Dopamine is probably the most commonly known positive neurochemical. It’s often released when we are actively working towards goals we have set ourselves. It also released when we achieve goals and overcome challenges and experience a feeling of accomplishment.
Not only does dopamine give us a high and a feel good boost while we are working out, but it also has a positive lasting impact on our self esteem and confidence. When we experience feelings of accomplishment our overall sense of self in everyday life is also lifted. This is important for reducing stress, improving our mood and maintaining our overall health.
Serotonin is the chemical responsible for boosting our mood and our sense of well-being. When we have good levels of serotonin our sleep cycles, appetite and overall mood is improved leading to us feeling healthier and calmer.
Norepinephrine has been shown to play a key role in boosting our mood and our ability to concentrate too.When we are busy pushing our body to its physical limits it’s difficult to be fixated on issues that are causing us stress and anxiety. When we exercise and this chemical is released we can experience a lift to feel happier and sharper.
Why does CrossFit promote stress relief?
Okay, okay – we know we’re biased but it’s easy to see how a CrossFit workout promotes the release of these happy chemicals and the best bit is you can do it right from the safety of your home!
Not only is it high-intensity to get blood pumping around your body and get those endorphins flowing – but it’s also mentally challenging and goal driven. CrossFit workouts help to develop our mental toughness too as it takes a robust attitude to keep going through a gruelling workout.
A sweaty WOD provides some much needed space away from those unwanted feelings – particularly at the moment when it’s easy to feel worried about everything going on. Working on improving our physical health, stamina and blood pressure gives us the mental strength to tackle stresses we face in life and gives us confidence to take on challenges outside of the gym.
We spoke to BoxMate members about how working out helps them release stress:
Kerry – “ I workout for my mental health… if you achieve that goal you’ve set yourself to do the feeling is just incredible. At CrossFit, everyone is like minded and it’s a powerful atmosphere.”
George -“ For me exercise works as a stress relief mechanism. It’s an hour in my day where I can forget about everything else that’s going on – especially at the moment. Once I’ve finished a workout I’m on such a high and it has a positive knock-on effect. It always results in me being dramatically more productive in other areas of my life.”
Stewart: “ Training is just such a huge part of my life. I was obsessed with fitness even before I went into the army – it was always either running, football or something else physical. Working out releases endorphins and I’ve always just felt 10x better once I’ve got up and trained.”
Gaby: – “ I often find that when I feel really stressed out or anxious (which I do more than ever at the moment in lockdown) I don’t actually ‘want’ to do anything. But, every time I do push myself to get up and do a home workout, go outside for a walk with the dog or go for a run I instantly feel so much better. Moving my body and getting a sweat on stops me thinking about whatever’s been on my mind and before I know it I’m feeling loads better.”
Who else is feeling inspired to get a sweat on?!
We certainly were after reading all that – so as promised, here’s a 10 minute WOD you can do to release some of those lovely happy chemicals.
Everyone can find 10 minutes to do this workout – whether you tag it on to your daily WOD as a finisher or fit it in to get your heart rate up today – get it done and feel great!
The WOD (workout of the day) today is a 10 minute AMRAP (Just incase you’re not familiar with this term this means ‘As Many Rounds As Possible’.
Set your timer for TEN minutes. Then, keep going through the below movements as many times as you can until that time is up! Watch the video to see how to perform each movement.
For each movement there is a ‘Standard’ or // ‘Challenge’ level so you can pick the one that works for you.
10 x Air Squats // 10 Jumping Squats
10 x Half Burpees // 10 Full Burpees
10 x Push Press (5 on each arm) Light weight // Heavy weight
10 x Crunch Sit Ups // 10 Full Sit Ups
To up the challenge, log your score on BoxMate. If you’re reading this and your gym doesn’t have BoxMate yet, write down your score somewhere (this will be the amount of rounds you get through + any extra reps you get in 10 minutes) and then set yourself a goal to try and beat your rounds in a few weeks time! 💪🏻
Share this post and encourage someone else to get their sweat on for World Health Day today! 🎉
Love and High 5s, Team BoxMate. 🙌🏻