Today I have Meagan Kong, professional dancer and fit life gypsy gal, sharing some mood lifting moves. I’ve known Meagan since college, and love following her incredible dance and fit life adventures on Instagram. To be totally honest, I like to live vicariously through her travels and dance life (she’s danced alongside the likes of Rihanna and CeeLo). If that doesn’t impress you, she can list “stilt dancing” as a special skill. Impressed? Yep, I thought so.
Luckily for us, she’s here to share some exercises that can lift your mood when you’re feeling down and out. These moves are what we would call “mood lifting moves.”
Getting your blood moving and heart pumping will lift your spirits and reinvigorate your day. Grab one of these moves when you need to turn your day upside-down (literally and figuratively).
Handstand / Headstand
Plant your hands a few inches from the wall, shoulder width apart. Walk one foot closer to the wall for some leverage, engage your core and KICK UP with the free foot. While upside-down push away from the ground and extend through your shoulders to your tip toes. For headstands, clasp your hands and place your forearms on the floor a few inches from the wall. Place the top of your head in between your elbows and kick up as described above. Hold your inversion for 10 breaths (or as many as you can). Carefully return your feet to the ground and notice the blood rushing from your head back into your body. Repeat 3 times. Even if you don’t successfully kick into your handstand, the process will be good for a laugh 😉
Whether it’s because we are looking at a phone, computer, register or cutting board, half the day is spent with our shoulders rolled forward and spine hunched over. This action compresses our lungs making it harder to take deep, fulfilling breaths. Chest openers expose the heart center and makes it easier to refuel your body with the oxygen it’s craving. Clasp your hands behind your back. If you can’t touch hands, hold a t-shirt or towel behind you. Roll your shoulders back and tilt your chin slightly upwards exposing your sternum. Take 5 long deep inhales and exhales while pressing your shoulders down. Repeat 3 times. Fill your rib cage with air and feel it rise and fall with every breath.
Everything starts at the core. This exercise really works your abdominals, but it also requires your whole body to work which increases blood flow from head to toe. Start on all fours, hands shoulder width apart. Lift your knees and straighten your legs to hold plank position. While in your plank, bring one knee to your chest, pause, then switch. Repeat this movement as many times as you can for 30 seconds. Take a break and repeat for 3 sets total and feel a new sense of invigoration when you finish.
Walk / Run
Any aerobic exercise will exhilarate you and get your blood pumping. When I feel sluggish, stagnant, bored or scattered I’ll choose a good podcast to plug into and go. I love the classic ‘This American Life” for long walk. ’99 Percent Invisible’ or the hilarious ‘Mortified’ for a 20-30 min jog. Not only will this get your butt outside and heart pumping, you get to escape into another world and listen to someone else’s story.
Meagan is wearing Adidas women in the photo above.
Sports Bra- Super Nova – High Support
Leggings- Super Nova Three Quarter Tight
Hoodie- Beyond The Run Hoodie
Shoes- Ultra Boost
Thanks Meagan for the tips to get us moving!
Photography credits: Nikki Dalonzo