Working indoors all day can make you feel drained and low on energy. You may start feeling slow, lack desire to get too much else after you leave the office. The next thing you know 10 pounds have appeared on your body out of nowhere. Fight these indoor blues ... energize yourself with outdoor workouts!
Sunlight & Your Mood
One can easily become depressed when working indoors all day or staying in dark environments. Mood variations are sometimes related to how much sunlight you receive. Sunlight gives you the feeling of being awake and alert. Serotonin also gives you an awake feeling which elevates your mood. Melatonin, which is a sleep hormone, encourages a desire to rest and relax.
During the daytime the Serotonin production is at a high. However as we spend most of our days indoors in poorly-lit environments the body begins to produce more melatonin giving you the indoor blues.
Serotonin & Melatonin
The name "serotonin" is something of a misnomer and reflects the circumstances of the compound's discovery.
It was initially identified as a vasoconstrictor substance in blood serum - hence "serotonin," a serum agent affecting vascular tone.
This agent was later chemically identified as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and as the broad range of physiological roles were elucidated, 5-HT became the preferred name in the pharmacological field.
Melatonin, or 5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine, is a hormone produced by pinealocytes in the pineal gland, located in the brain, but also in the retina and GI tract. It is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan.
Changing Your Workout
You may not be able to change your office setting or lighting but you can change your workouts. A change in your workout will:
- Decrease boredom and burnout
- Decrease chance of injury
- Provide balance for your body
Here are some ideas for defeating indoor blues with a red-hot workout
Outdoors/Indoors Begin this workout outdoors and soak up sunshine and fresh air while you try out this new workout. If it is cold ... Bundle Up!
Begin with a deep inhalation hold for 12 seconds and then slowly exhale
This part is to take place outdoors to gain the benefit of fresh air. You don't have to venture far. If you think it will take up too much time ... Try It! You are worth it.
Standing with arms extending out to the side. Alternate lifting one leg at a time laterally.
Hands on head fingers unclasped, Bend side to side with the goal of elbows touching your thighs.
Spot two landmarks about 20 feet apart and run in between them 10 times. Can't fathom what 20 feet looks like? Give a rough estimate by walking 20 steps.
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On the toes or modified.
This could be done on a chair on steps.
Wide steps forward, this can be substituted with standing lunges
Count to 100. Try to jump with out stopping.
Lie on your back with hands behind your head. Bring left leg into your chest with right elbow to the left knee. The right leg extends straight lifted off of the ground. Reverse to other side.
Instead of jogging four times a week, for instance, you could jog two days and bike or swim two days. You also can incorporate strength training and stretching exercises into your routine. The idea is to keep your exercise routine fresh and interesting by providing variety.
A change in workout can also decrease injuries. Many sports injuries result from doing the same repetitive motion. Altering your routine avoids the same stresses on the body and also allows you to develop your entire body rather than just specific portions
Finally brighten up your workout wardrobe. Colors commonly play a role in our moods even when we are not aware. Make it your mission to wear colors like bright reds, oranges and yellows. These colors resemble daylight and will be revitalizing during your workout.
Be proactive against the indoor blues. Think red and energize your workout with these ten exercises and some fresh air. You are worth it.