Mental Signs of Good Workouts
In addition to the physical signs of good workouts, there are also several psychological signs that indicate you’ve had a good workout. These can be a bit harder to measure compared to the more clear-cut physical signs, but they’re just as important. Rate how you feel after your activity compared to how you felt before to decide if you had a good workout.
1. Your mood
Physical activity of any level—from walking to HIIT—is linked to higher levels of well-being. “Exercise causes negative moods to decrease and positive moods to increase,” Shapiro says. Most researchers credit endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that are almost like morphine, with the mental shift. So take note to see if you feel better mentally after your cool-down than you did when you started your warm-up. If the answer is yes, then you can count that as a win.
2. Your stress level
Reduced stress is another big benefit of exercise that has been supported with research, Shapiro says. Considering that stress levels are continuing to increase for Americans, it’s helpful to have a form of release. You might find that a solid sweat session decreases your stress level, but even something as simple as meditative breathing can help. It’s also been shown that yoga can significantly reduce stress. The next time you have a particularly hard day at work, try a few yoga sequences to unwind.