15/08/2018 18:43 BST | Updated 04/10/2018 14:55 BST

Two-Minute Health Boosters To Up Your Mood

Get happier 🙌

It’s 3pm and the last thing you want to do is go running after work. We’ve all been there. Sometimes you just can’t bring yourself to tug on those trainers when Netflix and gentle lighting are calling you. But what about factoring in some speedy busts of movement, rather than doing nothing at all? 

There’s been a lot of attention paid to the physical benefits of HIIT (high-intensity interval training), with a 2016 study indicating that a 10 minute exercise routine, comprising one minute of maximum capacity exercise, is as beneficial as a 50 minute moderate workout. 

Likewise, the psychological bonuses are strong. Not only do short sessions of exercise flood your body with feel-good endorphins, research published in 2000 from Stockholm University showed that people who exercised frequently (at least two to three times a week) suffered with less perceived stress and anger than those who didn’t exercise at all. Given that the average adult of working age in England sits for an average of nine and a half hours a day, this is pretty pertinent.

And it’s why the people behind back and muscle pain relief products Voltarol are encouraging you to liven up your days and take a couple of minutes to move. Get yourself out of that mid-week funk and try these quick, two-minute mood-boosting exercises.

Try sun salutations

You can bust out a quick sun salutation anywhere. It’s a simple routine that many yogis practice at the start of every class, but did you know that it’s proven to have a significant effect on your mood? A study of 124 stressed-out students in India showed how practicing sun salutations every day for two weeks quietened their minds, made them feel more relaxed and joyful and improved their sleep quality.

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Squat it out 

A classic leg-strengthening exercise. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips, toes pointed slightly outward, look straight ahead and squat down, before powering through your feet to get back up again. Then, repeat.

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Pace up the stairs 

Forget the lift and hit the stairs every working day and you’ll start to notice a difference - research from McMaster University in Canada has shown that brief spurts of stair climbing are a great way to boost fitness. Start by walking up some stairs every day, then challenge yourself to see how many steps you can run up in two minutes.

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Practise mountain climbers

If you’ve ever attended a high-intensity fitness class, you’ll know mountain climbers. This tough, cardiovascular exercise involves holding a plank position while drawing your right knee followed by your left knee towards your chest in quick succession. It works your core, arms and legs. 

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Get outside

It might sound obvious, but a two minute breath of fresh air can make all the difference to your wellbeing. Just taking a stroll around a green, leafy park improved moods in 71% of people, according to a University of Essex study

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Hold plank

You can do this exercise anytime, any place. Whether you stay on your hands or use those forearms, it’s crucial to keep your hips in line with your shoulders. As well as working your core, there’s extra good news: strength and resistance training boosts your self-confidence and can improve your quality of sleep. So practise plank everyday to start seeing improvement to your abdominals - and your mood.

Voltarol Back and Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel contains diclofenac diethylammonium for pain and inflammation. Always read the label.

Voltarol Back and Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel contains an anti-inflammatory ingredient to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation at the source. We are experts in body pain, so whether it is joint or muscle pain, Voltarol can help you get back to doing the things you love. Movement can also help reduce your joint and back pain by 25% - did you know, the average person in the UK sits for 9 hours a day? Find out more about how you can take two minutes out of your busy day to move with our Take 2 To Move campaign. Voltarol Back and Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel contains diclofenac diethylammonium. For relief of pain and inflammation. Always read the label. Find out more at voltarol.co.uk.