Exercises for Every Mood – from http://fitvillains.tumblr.com
Everyone knows that a good workout can affect your mood in a positive way,
but sometimes being IN that mood can prevent you from wanting to break a sweat.
I know that when I’m sad, my body feels sad too and I have a really tough time
getting moving. Taking a brisk walk often improves my mood and gets me back into
the swing of things.
Try these mood specific exercises for when you’re anxious, sad, tired or
unmotivated to get the best mood-enhancement from your workouts.
MOOD: Stressed out or anxious
High-energy exercise, such as boxing and martial arts,
provide an effective release of negative emotions. “To keep stress hormone
levels under control, any exercise that’s aerobic, upbeat that stimulates
circulation is excellent,” says Stephanie Vitorino, Group Fitness Manager for
Equinox Fitness in Woodland Hills, CA. Studies show 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.
What also helps:Try 30 to 60 minutes of mood-enhancing yoga
or circuit training with weights that helps relax your body and mellow your
MOOD: Fatigued or lethargic
A review of 12 studies on the connection between exercise
and fatigue measured the amount of physical activity that participants were
doing and how much fatigue the participants experienced. All studies found a
direct link between reduced fatigue and more active exercise! You don’t need to
run a marathon to pump up your stamina, says Vitorino. “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,” Vitorino says.
What also helps:The trick is to simply 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
A bounty of evidence supports the claim that exercise
improves your ability to think more clearly. Last year, Dr. Phillip Tomporowski,
an exercise scientist at the University of Georgia, reviewed dozes of scientific
papers that compared how a bout of exercise affects cognitive performance on
various mental tasks and concentration. Dr. Tomporowski, and avid triathlete,
narrowed down the optimal prescription to 20 to 30 minutes of aerobics such as
power walking, running, and swimming. “A short bout of cardio is enough to
unlock a mental block,” says Dr. Tomporowski. A lunchtime walk around the ‘hood,
a kickboxing class or a game of tennis is beneficial.
What also helps: “Do something that actually focuses you to
a particular task at hand, such as balance training with a BOSU or racquet
sports for hand-eye coordination,” says Vitorino, the creator of the
best-selling “Body Target 60” DVD(amazon.com).
MOOD: Sad or melancholy
Treating the blues is as easy as lacing up your sneakers
for a run or a walk around the track, say our experts. “Working out with an
empathetic buddy or heading outside for a sunny sail or bike ride can battle a
slump,” says Vitorino. Just 30 to 45 minutes of steady exercise—from elliptical
training and stair climbing to karate and cross-country skiing—keeps the stress
off your joints, and burns mega-calories. “When I’m too sad to exercise solo, I
call a friend and go for a hike-connecting with nature is a great way to feel
less miserable!” says Vitorino.
What also helps: Dance DVDs or a yoga class can also boost
the blues. Vitorino says, “Tap into exercise variety and try something new,
which will shake up your workouts and your body!”
MOOD: Unmotivated or sleepy
Researchers at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research
Center studied the beneficial effects of moderate-intensity activity on sleep
quality, and found that the amount of exercise (more is better) and the time of
day you exercise (earlier is better) are more important than the type of
exercise. Head researcher Dr. Anne McTiernan, found that women who walked or
biked at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes every morning (seven days per week)
were less sleepy than those who exercised less. Conversely, women who performed
evening exercises experienced no improvement in sleep onset or quality. So, do
30 minutes of moderate activity (where you’re breathing hard but not overdoing
it) before noon every day to fight boredom.
What also helps: “Moderate weight lifting also increases
metabolism and boosts your mood,” Vitorino says. Exercise early and do something
everyday to get happy, balanced and motivated for life!