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Bust Your Bad Mood with Exercise

Use Fitness, Not Food, to Change Your State of Mind

2.6KSHARES
Some days, I am just in a mood. I don’t know what you call it, maybe stressed, bored, lonely, angry, sad, anxious, or tired. I call it "getting into a funk." When it happens, I have allowed my circumstances to dictate my attitude and my thinking and then—bam! Before I know what hit me, I’m in a full-blown funk. While I like to exercise when a bad mood rises, others turn to unhealthy habits like emotional eating or smoking. When you're upset, stressed or otherwise not feeling like yourself, exercise—and the mood-enhancing endorphins it produces—can be the best thing for you. Don't you believe me?

The next time you feel that mood coming on, identify what you're feeling and why. Are you bored because your best friend is out of town? Are you feeling lonely since the kids have left the nest? Or maybe you are stressing over finances. Whatever it is, pinpoint it. Then use the specific ideas below to bust your bad mood with a feel-good exercise prescription.

Your Mood: Angry
Your blood is boiling! You want to take this anger out on someone before you explode!
Mood Busting Exercises: Kickboxing, boxing, shadowboxing, or martial arts.
Whether you follow a kickboxing video or take a group class, you'll release anger with every punch, kick and jab. Imagine the target of your anger as you do a set of 12 front kicks! Besides getting your anger out you’ll blast calories with these cardio workouts. Any form of martial arts, often overlooked as a form of exercise, will also work. Besides actually making contact with pads, targets, and shields (a major stress and anger releaser!), you’ll gain gaining confidence, discipline, and focus.

Your Mood: Bored
You're stuck in a rut and want to do something interesting, but you're not sure what.
Mood Busting Exercises: Spinning class, step aerobics, or a new fitness DVD
Beat boredom (without food) by taking a high-energy Spinning class at your local gym. Set to great tunes, you'll be surprised how quickly an hourlong class flies by. Step aerobics is another great workout when you're bored because it's always changing. You have to concentrate on the choreography—sort of like learning a simple dance that involves a step. You'll build skills and feel really accomplished when it's over! Lastly, head to the library or video rental store and pick up the first workout DVD that looks interesting to you. Do it at home or invite a friend over to try your newest exercise venture!
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About The Author

Jason Anderson Jason Anderson
Jason loves to see people realize the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. He is a certified personal trainer and enjoys running races--from 5Ks to 50K ultramarathons. See all of Jason's articles.

Member Comments

  • Nice suggestions for different types of exercise for different moods - 10/3/2014 5:43:31 AM
  • This is a terrific article and echoes what therapists have been telling me all my adult life! Not always, but frequently -- you can lighten depression by moving your body around in a walk or a couple of sit-ups. Just about anything that gets you out of your chair will help a bad mood, if the problem is not chronic and debilitating. Of course, this is not always an answer but it sure has helped me out over the years. - 8/27/2014 5:47:10 PM
  • Some good suggestions, but what if you can't do something right then, i.e., you're at work and have a big project to finish? You just can't get up from your desk, and go for a 10 min. walk. Good way to lose your job, or get so far behind you have to stay late. So what do you do? You're stuck.

    It's easy to say "get up and move when you're depressed". Try doing that when you're overwhelmed with grief and trying to scream without alerting the neighbors. I've been battling bouts of depression and anger since my mother died in Sept. Getting up and going for a walk or any kind of exercise is completely out of the question. I simply can't do it. - 8/27/2014 10:30:51 AM
  • I just did this today. I was feeling bored and stressed; plus, just generally blah. It's a cloudy day. I finally convinced myself to do my scheduled workout. Now I feel so much better. - 7/28/2014 1:29:21 PM
  • ARYTON
    Wish there was a way to save this to my page lol - 6/3/2014 8:26:15 PM
  • BLUEFROG4
    New mood to consider: Perplexed. I have a really hard time making decisions and tend to eat while I'm procrastinating and thinking over the options. I bet simply taking an outdoor walk and mindfully noticing things along the way would go a long way to helping me out. And by the time I got home, I'd probably have an answer! - 5/24/2014 9:26:18 AM
  • I love this article it address the various moods I've been going thru lately especially getting in a huge funk due to rainy weather in my state. - 4/30/2014 8:37:57 PM
  • This is a great idea, I like the idea of having a chart or what to do when! - 4/30/2014 11:19:53 AM
  • Awesome ideas. There is no longer any reason to use being in a funk as an excuse to self sabotage hard work and progress by stuffing your face or being a couch potato. You don't have to run a marathon, what I have learned is that any exercise is still exercise. If I only walk around the block because I am tired or I am too busy or squeeze in a ten minute cardio routine, that's OK. We won't be super motivated every single day. Just do what you can. - 10/31/2013 11:54:12 PM
  • This article is great advice. Walking outside feels so good I try to do it everyday. At least 3 times a week I walk at apace to make to me a little breathless ( about 25 mile minutes) The rest of the time I walk with my husband or friends at a pace that we can carry on a conversation. Walking is great whether I'm try to improve my emotions or my heart thru aerobics. - 10/31/2013 2:21:00 PM
  • Perfect timing to read this today!
    - 10/31/2013 11:20:21 AM
  • I really love this article. It covers all the bases!! I've found that no matter what mood I'm in, kickboxing & zumba will help get me out of the funk. It's hard to be upset/sad/angry when you're dancing or moving around. - 10/22/2013 1:56:43 PM
  • I use the kickboxing it makes me feel like I did something I shouldn't have but it burns the stress off that way I can say at least it wasn't on them or to them in person just in my head I guess is safer than blowing up on someone else that's why the kick boxing is my favorite who Evers making me angry that my target for the day if I'm not angry or frustrated or upset its walking the boring walking I get to board with it - 10/6/2013 10:39:16 PM
  • This article was really helpful. I'm going to try different things to try and counteract specific moods and see how that works for me...I'm excited! - 9/24/2013 9:59:22 PM
  • Great article. Thanks - 6/23/2013 9:18:13 AM
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