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The best forms of exercise to help improve your mood

Nombulelo Mgabadeli, a certified High-Intensity Interval Training instructor. Picture: Supplied

Nombulelo Mgabadeli, a certified High-Intensity Interval Training instructor. Picture: Supplied

Published Oct 26, 2020


Everyone expects exercise to get the blood flowing and make you sweaty but don’t overlook an increase in endorphins.

If you did not already know, endorphins are the happy hormones, to help you get the best natural happy high.

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Nombulelo Mgabadeli, a certified High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) instructor and philanthropist, knows how to get the endorphins pumping.

Mgabadeli is a fitness influencer and health advocate, plus she is an #UAWOMEN, a group of mentally and physically strong women aligned with Under Armour for 2020.

But it is her fitness tips that will help you reach your summer body goals with a smile.

To get the endorphins running, Mgabadeli suggests a HIIT combination workout – HIIT increases your heart rate much faster than regular exercise and will significantly increase the release of endorphins and other opioid peptides in the brain areas controlling pain and emotion.

“High-intensity exercises such as swimming, cardio and weight lifting will trigger the release of endorphins. Your body has to reach a certain level of stress and pain in order to benefit from the feel-good hormone,” says Mgabadeli.

The flow of these feel-good molecules depends on exercise intensity. HIIT is suggested for a faster, more intense release and effect. While running, walking or softer aerobic measures will allow the release, HIIT ensures a stronger flush in a shorter period.

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See below a 5 exercise HIIT circuit guaranteed to get the happy juice flowing, from Mgabadeli.

Strength HIIT Workout

Warm Up

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Get your body moving and put your timer on 30 seconds back to back, only grab a break once done with the last workout (x3 sets):

• Jumping Jacks

• Star Jumps

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• High Knees

• Burpees


Five workouts

45 seconds working

15 seconds Active Rest between each workout (Hold Plank)

• Jumping Squats

• Push-ups

• Tuck Crunches

• Jumping lunges

• Mountain Climbers

Exercise can be a drag, especially when you’re doing it on your own, early in the morning, or after a long day at work, but doing the right exercise will not only keep you going but if you have the rush of endorphins while you are moving, then exercising can turn your frown upside down.

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