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Exercising For Your Mood

Posted Aug 28 2012 9:38am

This morning when I took Harper on a run I was thinking to myself how glad I was I didn’t run last night after work when I was in a SUPER foul mood. Let me explain…

Yesterday was not a good day. It turned out fine, but gradually went downhill as it went by. Nothing was going the way I had planned in my head and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.  That was what made me the most angry. Everything was out of my control and there wasn’t anyone to blame which made me furious. When I finally got home after sitting in traffic I walked in the door with the intention of running, but changed my mind and took a long walk followed by 20 minutes of yoga poses and deep breathing exercises.

I did this because I had read an article a while back about exercises you should do based on how you feel and how it can improve your mood. This may be a whole bunch of bull, but it works for me.

Exercising for Your Mood

MOOD: Stressed out or anxious

To keep stress hormone levels under control, any exercise that’s aerobic, upbeat that stimulates circulation is excellent. Effective ways to reduce the stress hormone “cortisol” includes deep-breathing techniques, meditation and 30 minutes of any enjoyable and non-competitive aerobic activity, including kickboxing and indoor cycling. Try 30 to 60 minutes of mood-enhancing yoga or circuit training with weights that helps relax your body and mellow your mood.
MOOD: Fatigued or lethargic
Just 20 minutes of power walking, vigorous bike riding or dynamic rounds of yoga Sun Salutations can do wonders. Music wakes you up too, so create a go-to playlist of songs that propel you to exercise. Start exercising when you feel slow or sluggish. In extreme cases, start with moves where you can actually lie down, such as mat Pilates or sports stretching. Soon, you’ll progress to more intense activities.


MOOD: Unfocused or ill-at-ease

Exercise improves your ability to think more clearly. Twenty to 30 minutes of aerobics such as power walking, running, and swimming is enough to unlock a mental block.Do something that actually focuses you to a particular task at hand, such as balance training with a BOSU or tennis for hand-eye coordination.

BOSU Ball Source:


MOOD: Sad or melancholy

Just 30 to 45 minutes of steady exercise–from elliptical training and stair climbing to karate –keeps the stress off your joints, and burns mega-calories. Dance DVDs or a yoga class can also boost the blues. These workouts done with someone can help too so you can talk it out and feel better.


MOOD: Unmotivated or sleepy

The amount of exercise (more is better) and the time of day you exercise (earlier is better, but I’m bad about this) are more important than the type of exercise. Do 30 minutes of moderate activity (where you’re breathing hard but not overdoing it) before noon every day to fight sleepiness. Moderate weight lifting also increases metabolism and boosts your mood. Do something everyday to get happy, balanced and motivated!

Do you workout based on your mood or do you have a schedule you stick to regardless?

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